GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A handful of players emptied out their lockers inside the Indians clubhouse on Friday morning, reducing the number of bodies in camp with the big league club.
Among the eight players sent back to Minor League camp was left-hander Drew Pomeranz. The big lefty -- selected in the first round of last year's First-Year Player Draft -- made a strong impression on the Indians during his first big league Spring Training.
"It was encouraging to see his demeanor on the mound and the way he carried himself," said Indians general manager Chris Antonetti. "He certainly wasn't intimidated by Major League hitters. I think we saw that his fastball clearly plays."
Pomeranz, 22, will likely open the season with Class A Kinston, according to Antonetti. In two Cactus League appearances, Pomeranz allowed no runs and no hits in three innings, striking out five and walked one.
Cleveland also optioned infielder Jared Goedert and right-handers Corey Kluber and Hector Rondon to Triple-A Columbus. Lefties Kelvin De La Cruz and Nick Hagadone were optioned to Double-A Akron. Righty Bryce Stowell and catcher Chun Chen were re-assigned to Minor League camp.
More confident Gomez in mix for rotation spot
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Getting a taste of the big leagues can do wonders for a player. In Jeanmar Gomez's case, his stint in the Indians' rotation last year made for a more relaxing experience this spring.
"I have more confidence in myself," Gomez said. "I have more experience and I'm more comfortable. I feel stronger this year physically, too."
Gomez followed a winter workout program provided by the Indians and prepared himself to compete for a rotation job. He added nine pounds of muscle to his thin frame and headed to camp with more confidence in his slider.
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On Thursday, the 23-year-old Gomez made his third appearance of the spring, blanking the Cubs over three innings of work. It was a solid bounce-back performance after the right-hander surrendered four runs in his previous outing.
"That's always good," said Indians manager Manny Acta, "especially for a young guy, so it doesn't snowball on him. He came out and threw the ball very well."
As things stand, Gomez is competing against Josh Tomlin and David Huff for the fifth spot in the Tribe's rotation. Acta has not tipped his hand as to who might be leading the race, but he noted that the three pitchers would likely make one more start apiece before the field is narrowed.
Gomez said he is trying not to worry too much about the rotation battle.
"I can't control that," Gomez said. "I can only control what I can do -- work hard, prepare for the game. That's what I can control."
Gomez made 11 starts for Cleveland last season, going 4-5 with a 4.68 ERA. He logged 57 2/3 innings in the Majors, piling up 34 strikeouts against 22 walks. At Triple-A Columbus last season, Gomez posted an 8-8 ledger with a 5.20 ERA over 20 appearances.
Gomez said the biggest lesson he learned in the big leagues is that a pitcher must be locked in for every pitch.
"In the big leagues, it's better competition," Gomez said. "You have to concentrate all game during the game, because you have hitters who have been in the big leagues for 10 years. You have to concentrate and talk to other pitchers about how to attack the hitters."
Reyes has no elbow issues after throwing BP
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians right-hander Anthony Reyes walked up a mound on a practice field Friday morning and took another step toward making his first Cactus League appearance.
Reyes, who was shut down earlier this spring due to right elbow soreness, worked through a 31-pitch live batting practice on Friday with no issues, throwing to center fielder Grady Sizemore.
"That's the best my elbow has felt in a while," Reyes said. "Usually I have a little something. I always expect a little something. You actually get used to having it, but I really didn't feel anything today."
Reyes underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow in 2009 and missed all of last season -- with the exception of five Minor League rehab outings. After Reyes complained of discomfort earlier this spring, he had an MRI exam, which revealed no structural damage in the joint.
"Nothing's hurting, so I can't complain," Reyes said. "Once I'm able to pitch, everything will take care of itself. I don't care where I start, as long as I'm pitching."
The Indians signed catcher Carlos Santana and right-handers Josh Tomlin and Jeanmar Gomez to one-year contracts for the 2011 season on Friday. Cleveland now has each member of its 40-man roster signed for the upcoming campaign. ... Indians manager Manny Acta noted that center fielder Grady Sizemore will begin a baserunning progression on Sunday, if everything goes according to plan. Sizemore is working his way back from microfracture surgery on his left knee. ... Outfielder Chad Huffman (strained right hamstring) was not in the starting lineup, but he was available off the bench for Friday's game against the Mariners. ... Outfielder Jordan Brown will not be with the team this weekend as he attends to a family situation. ... Free-agent right-hander Jason Davis, who pitched for the Indians for parts of the 2002-07 seasons, was in camp on Friday for a tryout. Davis will be at the Indians' complex for the next few days with the hope of reaching a Minor League deal. He went 18-22 with a 4.69 ERA in 114 career games (52 starts) for Cleveland. ... Scheduled to pitch for the Tribe on Saturday are Fausto Carmona (starting), Tomlin (competing for the fifth rotation spot), Jensen Lewis, Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez.