Allen, Rodriguez sent to Minor League camp

Allen, Rodriguez sent to Minor League camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona raved about getting to know outfield prospect Greg Allen this spring. The manager called infielder Ronny Rodriguez an intriguing player when discussing the race for the utility role.

Both Allen and Rodriguez may fit into the Major League picture in the near future, but for now, they will be continuing their development in the Minors. On Monday, they were part of a pile of players who were removed from big league camp with the Tribe.

Allen and Rodriguez were both reassigned to Minor League camp, along with right-handers Travis Banwart, Steve Delabar and Josh Martin, lefties Chris Narveson and James Russell, catcher Guillermo Quiroz and infielder Eric Stamets.

Pitchers Ryan Merritt, Shawn Morimando and Adam Plutko were each optioned to Triple-A Columbus.

Allen, 24, is currently ranked as the Tribe's No. 9 prospect by MLBPipeline.com. Last season, the center fielder hit a combined .295 with seven home runs, 23 doubles, seven triples, 44 RBIs, 45 stolen bases and 119 runs scored between Class A Advanced Lynchburg and Double-A Akron.

"He's as advertised," Francona said of Allen. "I'm not even talking about as a player, I mean as a person and a kid. Everybody had been raving about him. You can see why. He's just a standout kid. It's going to be fun to watch his progression and see how good he can get."

Top Prospects: Allen, CLE

The 24-year-old Rodriguez has been working on becoming a utility option for multiple infield and outfield spots -- similiar to big league candidates Erik Gonzalez and Michael Martinez. In 116 games at Triple-A Columbus last year, Rodriguez hit .258 with a .693 OPS, while appearing at six positions. This past winter, Rodriguez hit .306 with an .824 OPS in 44 games for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League.

"[Rodriguez has] got the tools, he's got the ability," Francona said. "He's come a long way in the last year. This doesn't have to level off. He's got a chance to play in the big leagues."

R. Rodriguez's two-run homer

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.