Kipnis on board with Francona's '17 message

Club focused on working toward another World Series run

Kipnis on board with Francona's '17 message

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona wanted to get it just right. Over the past week, he gathered his thoughts and jotted some down on paper. He erased parts and tweaked the wording. Even after all these years, and with three World Series appearances as a manager, Francona still stresses some over this speech.

Francona stood in front of his entire team on Sunday morning and delivered his message. He is not big on calling team meetings, but he does know the importance of setting the tone for a season with the spring-opening dialogue. This year is different, too. This year, Francona was speaking to the reigning American League champions.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe won't rush spring process with Kluber

Francona will take wait-and-see approach before naming OD starter

Tribe won't rush spring process with Kluber

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona wasted little time in naming ace Corey Kluber as the Opening Day starter in each of the past two springs. This year, expect Francona to take more time to see how the preseason plays out before declaring his starter for the season-opening tilt in Texas.

On Sunday, Francona reiterated that the Indians plan on easing Kluber into Cactus League games, considering the heavy load the right-hander shouldered last season. If Kluber's gradual spring schedule does not align precisely with Opening Day on April 3 against the Rangers, Francona will be open-minded about using another pitcher for the season's first game, and delaying Kluber's debut.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Allen to close for Tribe; Miller versatile option

Allen to close for Tribe; Miller versatile option

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Whether accidental or intentional, Indians manager Terry Francona has avoided specifically referring to Cody Allen as his closer over the years. Applying that label did not always provide the proper description for the reliever's duties. If a situation came up earlier than the ninth, Allen has been available out of the bullpen.

With relief ace Andrew Miller now in the fold -- an arm best described as a leverage weapon for Francona -- the manager has altered his tune some on Allen's job title. Miller is the versatile option for any inning that Francona sees fit. Allen gives Cleveland's talented bullpen an end point.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Allen claims Tribe's 'Warrior Dash'

Outfielder, ranked No. 19 in system, remained in organization after Lucroy trade fell through

Prospect Allen claims Tribe's 'Warrior Dash'

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Spring Training can put a lot of pressure on a prospect who gets the invitation to attend Major League camp. Take Saturday's endurance test at Indians camp as an example. Every year, not only do manager Terry Francona and his coaches look on, but nearly the entire front-office staff heads to the agility field to watch.

For every prospect -- such as outfielder Greg Allen -- all eyes are very much on them.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New teammates welcome Edwin's arrival

Tribe's offseason prize: 'I want to feel like part of the family'

New teammates welcome Edwin's arrival

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It did not take long for Edwin Encarnacion to feel at home inside the Indians' clubhouse. Shortly after arriving to his locker at the team's spring complex on Friday, a group of his teammates pulled up chairs and gathered around Cleveland's new first baseman for early-morning conversation.

After meeting with manager Terry Francona, Encarnacion and Carlos Santana, whose lockers are adjacent, headed to the indoor cage to get in some swings. It was the first day in a new era for the Indians, and the first step for Encarnacion in getting to know his new surroundings after signing a blockbuster deal over the offseason.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weighted-ball workouts on rise at Tribe camp

Bauer pleased to see growing trend among pitchers

Weighted-ball workouts on rise at Tribe camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The sound can be heard from a field away at Indians camp this year: The thump, thump, thump of weighted baseballs slamming against pads that hang from chain-link fences around the team's complex. It is not a new development, but this spring it is certainly more prevalent.

That sound is music to Trevor Bauer's ears.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe set with Cs: Gomes No. 1, Perez No. 2

Tribe set with Cs: Gomes No. 1, Perez No. 2

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians plan on opening the season with Yan Gomes as their starting catcher and Roberto Perez as his backup. Manager Terry Francona made it clear on Thursday morning that there will be no competition between the two for the primary job behind the plate.

"No, we have two good catchers," Francona said. "We're fortunate. We have two good catchers. Gomer's been our catcher. Just for different reasons -- whether it's been injuries -- Roberto stepped in and really did a great job. So, it's my responsibility to make it work for both of them, and we will."

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber easing into Spring Training workload

Indians ace working with Callaway on program for weeks ahead

Kluber easing into Spring Training workload

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There were sleepless nights for ace Corey Kluber this past winter. In the months following the Indians' loss in the World Series, the right-hander would often be out of bed when the moon was up, though it was not the team's postseason run that was on his mind.

The Klubers welcomed a son, Camden, into their family in late November, providing a happy distraction in what was an abbreviated offseason for the pitcher. Kluber did not have much time to sit back and stew over his team coming up just short in the Fall Classic against the Cubs. Instead, he was able to turn his attention to his increasingly busy home, which already included two young daughters.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chen's Classic prep sets example at Tribe camp

Chen's Classic prep sets example at Tribe camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Bruce Chen did not look like he belonged on the mounds at the Indians' spring complex on Wednesday morning. It was not just that the left-hander retired from the Majors two seasons ago, or the fact that he now works in Cleveland's front office. What stood out was the fact that Chen was wearing a blue hat.

The pitchers on either side of Chen wore the Tribe's Spring Training caps, which have a bright red front. The coaches leaning against the green backdrop behind the row of mounds don the all-blue version. It has become a source of friendly jokes aimed at Chen -- as master of one-liners himself -- as he prepares to pitch for Team China in the World Baseball Classic.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe's annual endurance test doesn't disappoint

Tribe's annual endurance test doesn't disappoint

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Francisco Lindor slammed a bat into the grass and let out a shout. It was a move meant as motivation for catcher Roberto Perez, who was trying to pull off an unexpected victory in the Indians' annual endurance test for pitchers and catchers.

For the past few years, Cleveland has held the test, which has become more competitive with each spring. The players do a series of timed sprints and -- whether by going too slow or by deciding to drop out -- there is only one man standing at the finish. This year, Perez and fellow catcher Yan Gomes made it to the final three, but it was pitching prospect Dylan Baker who outlasted everyone for the win.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brantley won't play in Tribe's first spring games

Brantley won't play in Tribe's first spring games

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians are not expecting left fielder Michael Brantley to be ready for game action when the team begins its Cactus League schedule later this month. Manager Terry Francona reiterated Wednesday that Brantley will not return to the lineup until he is deemed fully ready.

Cleveland's first Spring Training game is on Feb. 25 against the Reds.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sizemore joins Tribe as front-office advisor

Former All-Star center fielder played for Indians from 2004-11

Sizemore joins Tribe as front-office advisor

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Fans lined up along a fence, reaching over the top pole with baseballs, photos and pens clutched in their outstretched hands. A veteran wearing Indians gear approached the group, some stubble on his famous face, and stopped to sign his name a few times before heading to Field 1 at Cleveland's complex.

The new addition to camp was Grady Sizemore, who has been hired as an advisor to the Tribe's player development department. For Cleveland fans, Sizemore is as known for what might have been as he is for his incredible feats on the field as one of the game's bright young stars so many years ago. The former outfielder is currently weighing what will come next for him, and that journey begins in Goodyear, Ariz., this spring.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians agree with relievers Narveson, Russell

Indians agree with relievers Narveson, Russell

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians continue to add bullpen depth as camp opens for pitchers and catchers.

On Wednesday, the Indians signed left-hander James Russell to a Minor League contract that includes a non-roster invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. One day earlier, Cleveland signed lefty Chris Narveson to the same kind of contract.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller set to balance Indians' season, Classic

Club will monitor ace reliever's workload this spring

Miller set to balance Indians' season, Classic

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians reliever Andrew Miller fired throw after throw, his catch partner positioned in a crouch, as a light rain fell on the practice diamond Monday morning at the club's spring complex. The lefty ace got his work in early on the eve of the first official workout for pitchers and catchers.

Compared to his fellow late-inning relievers, Miller is slightly ahead in terms of his throwing, and that is due to the fact that he plans on pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic later this spring. Even after last year's heavy workload and taxing postseason, Miller feels strong and fully-equipped to balance the Classic's competitive environment with preparing for the regular season.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians' pitching staff to proceed with caution early in camp

Callaway being careful after several Tribe pitchers logged career high innings totals

Indians' pitching staff to proceed with caution early in camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway has to look back in order to best prepare his staff going forward. In the wake of Cleveland's deep run through the postseason, Callaway's spring program for his pitchers will include some adjustments to account for the increased volume of innings.

As camp opens for Cleveland -- pitchers and catchers will go through their first official workout on Tuesday morning -- Callaway is most concerned with the workload of his bullpen. Other than Corey Kluber and Josh Tomlin, the Tribe's rotation did not see an extreme number of postseason innings. However, the relief corps nearly logged as many innings as the starting staff.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians looking forward as camp arrives

Indians looking forward as camp arrives

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Indians squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Even after all these years as a manager, Terry Francona stresses over his first speech of Spring Training. When he gets his team together at the outset of camp this year, the Indians' manager plans on touching on last season but focusing more on the task ahead.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians looking to solve roster depth for 2017

Indians looking to solve roster depth for 2017

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com takes a look at a different aspect of this year's Indians squad each day this week. Today's topic: Predicting the 25-man roster.

CLEVELAND -- The mark of a good team is often a lack of roster competitions during Spring Training. In the Indians' case, they are returning with virtually the same roster that ended last season as the American League champions. A few key additions this winter fortified the group already in place.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy Brantley would be part of perfect season

Healthy Brantley would be part of perfect season

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Indians squad each day this week. Today's topic: The perfect season.

CLEVELAND -- The Indians experienced an imperfect season last year. Their road to the American League pennant was riddled with potholes and road blocks, but Cleveland kept plowing forward en route to an improbable World Series appearance against the Cubs.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Joe Posnanski

SI prediction gave Cleveland false hope in '87

SI prediction gave Cleveland false hope in '87

"Believe it or not, something is happening in Cleveland." -- "Pow! Wow!" story in Sports Illustrated, April 6, 1987.

Thirty years ago. Pow! Wow! If I could point to one moment when the mysteries of baseball first overwhelmed me, it would be when Sports Illustrated picked the Indians to win -- the single worst prediction, I contend, in sports history.

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MLB.com columnist Joe Posnanski is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, an Emmy Award-winning writer and has been awarded National Sportswriter of the Year. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In 2017, Tribe has eyes on specific prize

In 2017, Tribe has eyes on specific prize

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Indians squad each day this week. Today's topic: What's the vision?

CLEVELAND -- The Indians made it clear this offseason that they are not content with being the American League champions -- they want to win one more game than they did in 2016.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians trade pitcher Adams to Angels

Indians trade pitcher Adams to Angels

The Indians traded right-hander Austin Adams to the Angels on Friday for cash or a player to be named later. Cleveland also signed left-hander Luis Perez to a Minor League contract.

Adams had been designated for assignment on Tuesday following the Indians' signing of veteran reliever Boone Logan. The 30-year-old Adams pitched in 19 games for Cleveland last season, all in relief, with a 9.82 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. He also had eight saves and a 4.54 ERA in 34 relief appearances for Triple-A Columbus.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santana, Lindor among Tribe's 11 on WBC rosters

Miller, Perez, Urshela also playing in 2017 tournament

Santana, Lindor among Tribe's 11 on WBC rosters

CLEVELAND -- The Indians saw something different in Carlos Santana after he returned from the World Baseball Classic four years ago. Maybe it was the passion surrounding the tournament, or the fact that he was around some of his country's best players, but the first baseman returned to Spring Training revitalized.

"Santana came back really energized after playing for the Dominican team," Indians general manager Mike Chernoff said. "So, I think that can have a positive effect. Carlos, at that time of his career, got to be around some of the best players in the world, and I think that rubbed off on him."

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lindor ready to lead on and off the field

Lindor ready to lead on and off the field

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Indians squad each day this week. Today's topic: How's Your Star?

CLEVELAND -- Francisco Lindor kept Cleveland alive in the ninth inning. The shortstop ranged far to his right, moving past second base, and then made a spectacular catch-and-fire play to nab Dexter Fowler at first base to end the frame. Game 7 of the World Series remained a tie and Indians fans had Lindor to thank.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians make deal with Logan official

Indians make deal with Logan official

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona prefers to have a pair of left-handers in his bullpen, but the fit has to be right. Carrying an extra lefty just for the sake of having more than one is not something Francona likes to do, as evidenced by the right-handed-heavy relief corps that Cleveland featured last season.

Boone Logan fits Francona's bullpen, and that is officially where the veteran left-hander will be for at least one season. On Tuesday the Indians finalized a one-year contract with Logan, who has a team option for 2018 included in the deal. Logan and relief ace Andrew Miller now give the Tribe a formidable pair of lefties in a bullpen that projects to be one of baseball's best.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.