Crockett's results on mound belie youthfulness

Young left-hander showed poise in quick rise

Crockett's results on mound belie youthfulness

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Scott Atchison is the recipient of an endless stream of old jokes, stemming from his graying hair and long history in professional baseball. The veteran Indians reliever has fun with the running gag, especially with youngster Kyle Crockett a few lockers down from him right now.

"What year were you born?" the 38-year-old Atchison asked Crockett on Monday morning. "1991? That was a bad year for me."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Start of Cactus League ramps up Tribe's spring intensity

McAllister opens rotation competition vs. Reds

Start of Cactus League ramps up Tribe's spring intensity

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The theme of workouts for the Indians this spring has been simulating plays at game speed. After two weeks of going through drills, the time has come for Cleveland to transition from the practice diamond to an actual ballpark.

On Tuesday, Indians starter Zach McAllister will take the mound against the Reds in the Tribe's first Cactus League contest of the spring. Cleveland's players are more than ready to take the next step in baseball's annual march toward Opening Day.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lindor to be given every opportunity to develop

Tribe's top prospect to begin season at Triple-A

Lindor to be given every opportunity to develop

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The expectations are high for Francisco Lindor, and there is a chance that the Indians' elite shortstop prospect could hold his own in the big leagues right now. However, Cleveland is not caving into that kind of temptation when it comes to Lindor's path to the Majors.

"I don't think that's developing a player," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "If you [promote] a guy too quick and you get him beat up, that's not development. They've got to go through a progression, for the most part."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carrasco aims for same mindset that brought success in '14

Indians starter impresses coaches, teammates in first BP session

Carrasco aims for same mindset that brought success in '14

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Most pitchers will throw off a mound a handful of times before reporting to Spring Training. Others prefer to wait until they are around the Major League coaching staff and at the complex before working through their first bullpen session.

Carlos Carrasco took a different approach this year.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'He's the man': Kluber brings Cy Young stuff to first BP session

Indians won't hold back ace after reaching career high in innings

'He's the man': Kluber brings Cy Young stuff to first BP session

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Corey Kluber fired a breaking ball that ran hard over the inside part of the plate, forcing Michael Bourn to swiftly move out of the way. The Indians center fielder shook his head, let out a slight laugh and shifted back into his stance as the pitcher grinned on the mound.

"I wasn't ready for that one," Bourn said.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Floyd encouraged after throwing first BP since elbow surgery

Indians signed veteran pitcher to one-year deal in offseason

Floyd encouraged after throwing first BP since elbow surgery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Gavin Floyd threw his first pitch to a batter on Sunday morning, things went considerably better than the last time the right-hander worked with a batter at the plate. Floyd got through his first live batting practice session of the spring pain free and encouraged.

"It's just another step," Floyd said. "It's the first time I had a significant bullpen, cooled down for a little bit and then got back out there. I felt really good. I've just got to continue to make progress and build up strength. Usually, that's just by doing it over and over again, and using spring to do that."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former MLB star Minoso passes away

Club's first black ballplayer was 9-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glover

Former MLB star Minoso passes away

Native Cubans could move to the big leagues without dealing much in politics, secrecy and defection six decades ago. Cuban baseball talent was highly regarded and increasingly desirable. Not coincidentally, Minnie Minoso was at the forefront of the international game then. His baseball skills caught the eye. His distinctive name caught the ear. And his warm and engaging personality made him an uncommonly popular figure anywhere he played -- no, anywhere he went -- and helped forge a legacy that, to this day, prompts baseball folks to smile.

Minoso died Sunday at age 90 -- 34 years after his final at-bat in the big leagues, the one that made him the second player in Major League history to appear in games in five decades. Had Bill Veeck, baseball's ultimate showman, lived into the summer of 1990, Minoso probably would have played in six, and perhaps ended his 14-year slump at three at-bats.

More

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kipnis among candidates to be Tribe's No. 2 man

Francona has Swisher, Ramirez also in mix

Kipnis among candidates to be Tribe's No. 2 man

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When constructing a lineup, Indians manager Terry Francona likes to make things as difficult as possible for the opposition. If Francona can alternate left-handed and right-handed batters, it makes it that much harder for the other manager to make bullpen decisions late in games.

Right now, though, Francona is weighing whether it is worth it to use that approach for the top of his lineup. If Cleveland has Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley in the first three spots of the order, respectively, that will stack three lefty batters in a row. Francona is in the midst of considering the risk and reward of such a move.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bauer taking nothing for granted as he refines repertoire

Tribe righty pleased with first spring batting practice session

Bauer taking nothing for granted as he refines repertoire

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Over the winter, pitchers often retreat to indoor batting tunnels to run through their mound workouts. In the early stages of Spring Training, they advance to bullpen sessions at their team's training complex. Live batting practice is the next step in the annual march to the regular season.

On Saturday morning, Trevor Bauer was among the Indians pitchers who went through live BP sessions for the first time this year, giving them their first testing ground with batters standing at the plate. At this time of year, the pitchers are always ahead of the hitters, but that does not make things any less strange out on the mound.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swisher faces pitching for first time since August

Unclear if Indians veteran will be fully healthy by Opening Day

Swisher faces pitching for first time since August

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Swisher had not faced live pitching since last August until stepping to the plate for a live batting practice session Saturday morning. The veteran was welcomed back by hard-throwing Indians right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.

"Two flamethrowers right out of the gate," Swisher said with a laugh. "The first few days, we get used to tracking and taking a swing every now and then. Just for me, to get back on the field, it's nice."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In first big league camp, Holt drawing on experience

Outfielder spent 36 games with Tribe last year

In first big league camp, Holt drawing on experience

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A baseball rested in a patch of gravel beyond the right-field wall of one of the Indians' practice fields Saturday morning. It was the victim of an opposite-field blast that outfielder Tyler Holt launched off Danny Salazar during a batting practice session.

Holt laughed when asked about his shot off the hard-throwing right-hander.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clark: Influx of Cuban players adds to MLB's global presence

Players Association executive director touches on several topics during visit to Indians camp

Clark: Influx of Cuban players adds to MLB's global presence

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Major League Baseball held discussions about possibly having Cuba host a Spring Training game this year, but there was not enough time for the talks to develop into reality. Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLB Players' Association, said Saturday that such a game could take place in the future.

The United States government made it known in December that it was working towards potentially normalizing its relationship with Cuba. Major League Baseball has been monitoring the situation with an eye toward expanding its own ties to the baseball-rich country.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All eyes on Urshela in first big league camp after breakout '14

Francona impressed with prospect's glovework at third base

All eyes on Urshela in first big league camp after breakout '14

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- For the first few days of full-squad workouts, Indians manager Terry Francona has spent a lot of time on a practice field with a group of players who might be headed to Triple-A Columbus. Among them has been highly touted third-base prospect Giovanny Urshela.

Urshela is one of Cleveland's rising stars within its farm system and the young third baseman is experiencing his first Major League Spring Training. Urshela was only recently cleared for a full range of activities after suffering a left knee injury in winter ball, so Francona has kept a close eye on the prospect.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chisenhall seeks to improve consistency at plate

2014 was tale of two seasons for Indians' young third baseman

Chisenhall seeks to improve consistency at plate

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Lonnie Chisenhall had a photo created from the time his swing was the sweetest it has ever been. When the Indians third baseman hits a lull at the plate, he plans on using the still image of his swing to help him recall how he felt on his historic night in Texas last season.

Three home runs. Five hits. Nine RBIs.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ex-Indians Hafner, McDonald report to camp as instructors

Francona says former players are encouraged to help on field, in cage

Ex-Indians Hafner, McDonald report to camp as instructors

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have almost all facets covered with this spring's class of guest instructors. John McDonald is working with the infielders, Travis Hafner has focused on the hitters, Charles Nagy helps with the pitching staff and Mike Hargrove contributes around the complex as well.

"The benefit is you're getting some really good baseball people that, for whatever reason, may not be able to commit to a full season," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Especially if they were in your organization, I think it's really good."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Overcoming elbow injuries, Floyd gets new start with Indians

Righty could land No. 2 spot in Tribe rotation after fracture followed Tommy John surgery

Overcoming elbow injuries, Floyd gets new start with Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As the pain intensified within Gavin Floyd's right arm in his final start last season, the pitcher looked to the heavens for help. Floyd was in the midst of a shutout against the Nationals, but felt he was potentially approaching a point of no return.

"I prayed to God," Floyd said.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Francona disputes Brantley's below-average 'D' rating

Manager believes left fielder is one of best in league despite what stats say

Francona disputes Brantley's below-average 'D' rating

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Michael Brantley has seemingly mastered the unorthodox left-field corner at Progressive Field, and the Indians' All-Star left fielder was one of baseball's top threats with his arm last year. Still, advanced defensive metrics rate Brantley as a below-average defender.

Indians manager Terry Francona does not understand why the numbers do not favor Brantley's defense.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Progressive Field renovations continue despite weather

Majority of project on schedule to be completed by home opener

Progressive Field renovations continue despite weather

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Construction crews back in Cleveland continue to battle the elements in an effort to complete the ongoing Progressive Field renovation project in time for this season's home opener.

On Thursday, Indians team president Mark Shapiro arrived at the club's Spring Training complex and indicated that most of the massive undertaking at the ballpark remains on schedule for the April 10 opener against the Tigers. The freezing temperatures that the workers have dealt with over the past few weeks have only slowed progress in two areas.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New ticket offers give Indians fans unique opportunities

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Fans will not only see changes to Progressive Field when Opening Day arrives this year, but they will also have a couple of new ticket offers for the coming season.

On Thursday, the Indians announced two unique ticket opportunities: $13 District Tickets and $10 KeyBank Kids Tickets. The District Ticket comes with one free drink, and the Kids Ticket caters to families and allows for convenient access to the Kids Clubhouse and redesigned Family Deck.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Pleskoff: Indians prospects on the cusp

Pleskoff: Indians prospects on the cusp

In this series, Bernie Pleskoff takes a team-by-team look at which top prospects are poised to make a contribution at the big league level in 2015.

The Indians enter Spring Training hoping several highly regarded regulars return to form after injuries. The are counting on Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis to shake the injury bug and help lead the team to the next level.

More

Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians to employ more shifts to shore up defense

Indians to employ more shifts to shore up defense

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- At some point during a Cactus League game this spring, the Indians' infielders will likely move into a dramatic defensive shift. Cleveland may even test out the strategy with a batter in the box who is not typically faced with that kind of alignment.

During Wednesday's workout, Indians bench coach Brad Mills said the team plans on doing everything it can this spring to simulate shift situations and prepare for the unexpected. The idea behind it is to help players develop another layer of reactionary decision-making in real time.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss continues recovery from hip surgery, takes regular BP

Moss continues recovery from hip surgery, takes regular BP

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brandon Moss watched as the baseball that rocketed off David Murphy's bat fell short of the wall in right-center field on one of the Indians' practice fields on Wednesday morning. Moss shook his head, grinned and turned to his good friend.

"You used to be stronger," Moss joked.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Francona eyes balance for busy bullpen

Francona eyes balance for busy bullpen

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Given their high appearance totals last year, the Indians will soon be mapping out the respective spring workloads of heavily-used relievers Cody Allen, Scott Atchison, Marc Rzepczynski and Bryan Shaw.

"We actually are in the process now," Indians manager Terry Francona said, "with the guys that pitched a lot, walking through how they would like to prepare for the season, because they're all so good about understanding what they need to accomplish."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Downs has 'youthful fire' in competition for bullpen role

Lefty in camp on first Minor League contract in 13-year career

Downs has 'youthful fire' in competition for bullpen role

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It has been a long time since job security was an issue for left-hander Scott Downs. For most of the past decade, he has headed into Spring Training with the luxury of a big league contract and a spot in the Opening Day bullpen.

Things are different this spring for Downs, who is in camp with Cleveland on a Minor League deal for the first time in his career. Downs wanted to pitch for Indians manager Terry Francona, and he liked the young talent that the Tribe boasts, but the lefty said it is the spring competition that has lit a youthful fire in him.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss pain-free and 'pumped' to be with Tribe

Moss pain-free and 'pumped' to be with Tribe

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Outfielder Brandon Moss knew something was wrong with his left hip long before his second-half tailspin began last season. During last spring, when he was with Oakland, Moss remarked to then-teammate Daric Barton that he might be in for a tough year.

"I said, 'I hope you have a really good year this year, so I can DH a good bit,'" Moss recalled, "'because if not, I'm probably going to have to have surgery.' I knew it. There was something wrong. At that point it was just stiff, and I couldn't move well."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe to Murphy: Prepare as you normally do

Tribe to Murphy: Prepare as you normally do

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- David Murphy might find himself on the Indians' Opening Day roster when everything is said and done, but the veteran outfielder's role has yet to be determined. Depending on the health of a few other players, Murphy could be the starting right fielder or an extra player on the bench.

Right now, the most important thing to Murphy is communication from Cleveland's staff.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lindor outlasts competition in Tribe's endurance test

Lindor outlasts competition in Tribe's endurance test

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Francisco Lindor pushed through the pain, sprinted hard and dove through the line of orange cones to an eruption of cheers from his Indians teammates on Tuesday morning. It was only a performance test, but the shortstop prospect wanted badly to be the last player standing.

"Every time I do something that's a competition," said Lindor, recently rated the No. 4 prospect in baseball by MLB.com, "I'm trying to win."

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.