02/22/07 3:45 PM ET
Notes: Aubrey puts injuries behind him
Indians prospect hopes for a healthy 2007 to showcase talent
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
"As disappointing as it has been for me to not be on the field, I know it's been the same for them," Aubrey said. "They've been very understanding through every aspect of my rehab. Now, it's time for me to get back." More than anything, Aubrey, who has a .311 average with 27 homers and 133 RBIs in 178 Minor League games, is just looking for a little momentum. A full, healthy season would certainly be a good start. "It's about getting all four wheels down on the ground and rolling, and heading in a positive direction," he said. "And keep going over those speed bumps." Mixing it up: The influx of veterans signed to pitch out of the Indians' bullpen most likely bumped Brian Sikorski to Triple-A Buffalo for the start of '07. But Sikorski, who was removed from the Indians' 40-man roster in January, cleared waivers and was given a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, believes he can make it back to the Tribe if he learns to more effectively utilize his offspeed pitches. "I need to be more consistent with my offspeed stuff and maybe use it more," Sikorski said. "I worked on my changeup more this offseason. Last year, it came and went at times." Sikorski, who played in Japan from 2000-05, was acquired by the Indians in a midseason trade with the Padres last year. He made 17 appearances out of the Cleveland 'pen, going 2-1 with a 4.58 ERA. He struck out 24 batters in 19 2/3 innings. "Last year [during Spring Training with the Padres], I probably put more pressure on myself than I needed to," he said. "I'm more relaxed this year. No question about it." Short speech: Every year about this time, manager Eric Wedge has his first talk with the players about his expectations in camp and the season ahead. This year, that speech, which took place Thursday morning, was shorter than ever. "There's not a whole lot to talk about," Wedge said. "I think we have a good idea where we are and what we need to do. We know our guys. I think we're a little further along in the process. Everything we're about is everything we've gone through up to this point in time, whether individually or as a ballclub." Tribe tidbits: With position players all in camp and accounted for, the Indians held their first full-squad workout Thursday morning. Pitchers' fielding practice was held with starters Andy Marte, Jhonny Peralta, Josh Barfield and Casey Blake in the infield, and Cliff Lee, Joe Borowski and Jeremy Sowers among those who threw live batting practice. ... Paul Byrd was to throw Thursday, but he was held back a day because his back stiffened up. Wedge said the issue was far from serious. ... Travis Fryman reported to camp Thursday. No, the former Indians third baseman isn't mounting a comeback. Fryman is here to work with the infielders and the hitters for the next month or so.
Sign here: Sowers, Aubrey, J.D. Martin, Ryan Garko, Brian Slocum, Hector Luna, Brad Snyder and Mike Rouse were all signed to contracts for the 2007 season Thursday.
The Indians still have 13 players on their 40-man roster who have not yet signed contracts for the upcoming season. The deadline is March 11.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.