GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jayson Nix was mentioned as a contender for the Indians' opening at third base when Spring Training began, but the early evidence in camp has made it clear that Cleveland has other plans.
While Nix has worked out some at third base, he has spent the bulk of his time this spring -- during practices and Cactus League games -- manning second, which is his natural position. Nix got the starting nod at second base against the Padres on Wednesday.
"They told me I'm going to play more second than third," Nix said. "But I'm still going over there and getting some work there occasionally. As of now, I'm going to play more second."
That does not bode well for Nix's chances of earning a spot in the Tribe's starting lineup. While the Indians have not officially named Orlando Cabrera their regular second baseman, all signs indicate that the veteran is in the plans to break camp in that role.
Nix is out of player options, meaning he would need to be exposed to waivers if the Indians wanted to send him to the Minor Leagues at the end of camp. Even if Nix cleared waivers, he has the right to decline an outright assignment to the Minors.
Indians manager Manny Acta insists that Nix is still in the running for a spot.
"Right now, he's battling with Orlando for that second-base job," Acta said.
Last season, the 28-year-old Nix hit .234 with 13 homers and 29 RBIs in 78 games with the Indians after being claimed off waivers from the White Sox in June. He played some second but mostly manned third (Nix made 16 errors in 56 games there) after the Tribe traded Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers in July.
Nix played winter ball in Puerto Rico to continue working on third base, but was limited to 15 games after missing a week after being struck on the head with a pitch. As things currently stand, Jason Donald appears to be the favorite to land Cleveland's full-time third -base job this spring.
Chisenhall out to make Tribe's decision tough
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians prospect Lonnie Chisenhall understands that no matter how well he is swinging the bat right now, eight Spring Training games are not going to change the organization's mind about where he will begin this season.
Chisenhall might be hitting .550 in Cactus League play at the moment, but the young third baseman is not expecting that to result in a spot on Cleveland's Opening Day roster. He has been told that he needs more development, and Triple-A Columbus is Chisenhall's likely destination.
"I'm definitely having just one of those weeks where it feels like you can't get out," Chisenhall said inside the Indians' player-development complex on Wednesday morning. "Next week, you never know, it might flip-flop on you. It's only 20 at-bats.
2010 Spring Training - Cleveland Indians
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"I'd love to have it at the beginning of the season, but it's in Spring Training. It doesn't really count."
What does count is the fact that Chisenhall's early hit parade has come in front of Indians manager Manny Acta and the rest of the club's Major League staff. There is a chance that Chisenhall might reach the Majors this season, so making a strong early impression is never a bad thing.
"Definitely," Chisenhall said. "Them being able to see it firsthand instead of hearing you're swinging the bat well in the Minor Leagues, for them to be able to see you and how you carry yourself on the field and stuff like that, it's a big step forward."
It has looked as though Chisenhall is trying to make it hard for the Indians to send him back to Minor League camp. Acta would not want it any other way.
"That's the way that everybody should show up to camp and approach things," Acta said.
Right now, the Indians appear to be leaning toward opening the season with Jason Donald at third base. The 22-year-old Chisenhall might look ready for the big leagues in the batter's box, but the fact remains that he has played precisely zero career innings at Triple-A.
Through eight games this spring, all Chisenhall has done is churn out 11 hits in 20 at-bats, using all fields to collect two home runs, two doubles, one triple and four RBIs. In Tuesday's loss to the D-backs, Chisenhall had four hits in his first four at-bats before grounding out to end his bid for a perfect afternoon.
The Indians are not about to abandon their plans for Chisenhall just because he has enjoyed one exceptionally strong week in Spring Training, though.
"He hasn't changed my mind," Acta said. "We like him. We love him. He's going to be part of our team at some point."
Sidelined Goedert itching to prove himself
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jared Goedert has been getting more use out of his gray, hooded team sweatshirt than his Indians jersey these days.
Goedert has been mostly confined to Cleveland's clubhouse and training room, spending his time rehabbing from a right oblique injury. The corner infielder was hoping to make a strong impression this spring but has instead been turned into a spectator.
"It's frustrating to not be able to go out in Spring Training and see what I can do," Goedert said. "It was a good opportunity. Now I can only do what I can do to get myself healthy and get back out there as soon as I can."
Entering the spring, Indians manager Manny Acta frequently mentioned Goedert as a player he was interested in watching closely. A big reason was the strong offensive showing Goedert had last season in the Minors, batting .283 with 27 homers, 37 doubles and 83 RBIs in 125 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus.
Goedert, 25, will likely head back to Columbus for the coming season, but he might not see much time at his most comfortable position. Goedert is a third baseman by trade, but highly touted third-base prospect Lonnie Chisenhall is expected to be in Columbus this year, too.
As a result, Goedert will most likely see time at first and third base, mixing in some starts in left field and as a designated hitter to stay in the lineup. Goedert is willing to do whatever the organization asks of him if it increases his chances of advancing to the Majors.
"I'm completely open to it," Goedert said. "However, hopefully, I can help the Indians -- and help myself out, too -- if I can play a couple positions. I'd definitely like to do that."
First, though, Goedert will need to rest for a couple of weeks.
"This is something that can linger," he said. "If you don't get it taken care of fully, it's something that could nag or potentially turn into a bigger problem. That's the last thing I want right now."
Indians third baseman Jason Donald, who was struck on the left hand with a pitch on Saturday, took part in a full workout on Wednesday morning. "It felt pretty stinking good," said Donald, when asked about his hand. "I was able to swing without any hesitation." Indians manager Manny Acta said Donald will be back in the starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Cubs. ... Outfielder Chad Huffman is currently dealing with a strained right hamstring. Huffman, who has not played since Saturday, will miss at least "a couple more days," according to Acta. Through six games this spring, Huffman has hit .571 with one homer and three RBIs in his bid to win a spot on Cleveland's bench. ... On Wednesday, right-hander Carlos Carrasco made his first start since rejoining the team following the birth of his daughter, Camila. Carrasco was home in Florida with his wife for four days before heading back to Arizona on Monday. Against the Padres on Wednesday, he allowed two runs on four hits, including two home runs, over three innings. ... Lefty David Huff -- vying for a spot in the rotation -- allowed four runs on four hits in two innings against the Padres on Wednesday. ... Right-hander Anthony Reyes (sore right elbow) said he felt fine after throwing in a live batting practice session on Tuesday. Reyes said the next step in his throwing progression is to pitch in a simulated game on Friday. ... Indians catcher Carlos Santana made his debut at first base during Wednesday's game. "It's the first time in my career," Santana said. "I'm sure I'll be fine. I played third base, so I think I'll be fine there." He will play at least two more games at first base this spring and will see some time at the position during the upcoming season. Acta liked what he saw on Wednesday. "He looked good, man," Acta said. "It's only one game, but he looked comfortable and made some good plays."