02/13/2013 9:26 PM ET
Tribe hopeful USA duties fit into plans for Perez, Pestano
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians are hoping the World Baseball Classic does not interfere too much with the throwing schedules in place for closer Chris Perez and setup man Vinnie Pestano. That duo figures largely into the Tribe's bullpen plans this season.
On Wednesday, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said he plans on reaching out to Team USA manager Joe Torre to gauge whether Perez and Pestano can return to camp to pitch for the Tribe in the days leading up to the tournament. Francona was quick to add that he will respect the answer Torre provides.
"I can't imagine that [Team USA] would care," Francona said. "It might work out well, but I've really got to call Joe."
Perez and Pestano are scheduled to leave Cleveland's camp on March 2 to join Team USA at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz. Team USA will face the Classic's other Pool D participants (Canada, Mexico and Italy) from March 8-10 at Chase Field, the home of the D-backs in downtown Phoenix.
If Francona gets his wish, Perez and Pestano would return to the Indians' site before Team USA's first game to get some work in for the Indians in an exhibition game.
Cleveland's other World Baseball Classic players include shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (Venezuela), infielder Mike Aviles (Puerto Rico), catcher Carlos Santana (Dominican Republic) and pitcher Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico). Those four players will compete as part of Pool C in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Indians catcher Yan Gomes has indicated that he is leaning against playing for Brazil in the tournament. If Gomes changes his mind, he would be required to head overseas to Fukuoka, Japan, as part of Pool A.
Bauer has chance in spring to secure rotation spot
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Trevor Bauer will be given every opportunity this spring to prove he belongs in the Indians' Opening Day rotation. Both general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona said as much on Wednesday.
Asked if Bauer was going to have a legitimate chance to earn a job, Francona promptly gave his one-word answer before the question was finished.
"Yes," Francona said matter-of-factly.
The 22-year-old Bauer -- acquired as part of Cleveland's three-team, nine-player offseason trade with Cincinnati and Arizona -- is up against a handful of pitchers for the fifth spot in the rotation. Other candidates include Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, Scott Kazmir, Daisuke Matsuzaka and David Huff.
In four starts for the D-backs last season, Bauer went 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA and did not mesh well with members of the organization. Across 22 outings in between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno a year ago, he went 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 157 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings.
Antonetti has stated on multiple occasions that Bauer might benefit from more development but said Wednesday that does not mean the pitcher is necessarily ticketed for the Minors to start the season.
"We're not really predisposed either way," Antonetti said. "We want to go with the starters who feel give us the best chance to win. If Trevor is one of those guys, then that will be a big part of our decision. But, in the end, if he ends up starting the season in the Minor Leagues, he can benefit from additional development."
While the expectations surrounding Bauer are high, Francona said the pitcher's progress this spring will ultimately decide his fate.
"We're looking for big things," Francona said. "Whether it's on Opening Day, he'll probably determine that. But, we're excited about him. Any time you can bring pitching into the organization, it's not an easy thing to do to acquire pitching. So we're really excited about that aspect of it."
Belle, Vizquel bobbleheads among 2013 giveaways
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Tribe fans will have multiple opportunities to take home bobbleheads, jerseys, hats and other souvenirs at Indians games this season. Cleveland will also be offering plenty of fireworks and dollar dogs.
On Wednesday, the Indians unveiled their promotion schedule for the 2013 regular season, giving fans their first look at the planned giveaways and events. It begins with the annual magnet schedule giveaway for the home opener on April 8 and continues with a variety of other items.
There will be bobbleheads featuring Tribe greats Albert Belle and Omar Vizquel on June 1 and July 8, respectively. Fans also will be offered replica jerseys for current Indians players Jason Kipnis (June 15), Michael Brantley (July 27) and Nick Swisher (Aug. 24).
Rally Alley will be back for 17 dates, including Opening Day, and there will be 15 Dollar Dog Nights this season. Fans will have two Puppypalooza events (June 17 and Sept. 9) if they want to bring their dog to the ballpark. There will be 16 fireworks nights, including a two-night Rock N' Blast spectacular Aug. 9-10.
Visit Indians.com for more information.
Quote to note
"There's a lot of buzz around this locker room. If you're a Tribe fan, you should be super excited."
--Indians first baseman Nick Swisher
• The big moves being made of late by the Indians have already helped at the box office. Cleveland announced that ticket sales on Tuesday alone matched what the team has averaged in a typical offseason month. Retail sales were also more than 50 percent better on Tuesday compared to the same date last year. Single-game tickets for all 81 home games go on sale at 10 a.m. ET on Feb. 25.
• Indians reliever Joe Smith (left oblique) played catch on flat ground up to a distance of 75 feet during Wednesday's workout. Smith will rest on Thursday before resuming his throwing program Friday. Barring a setback, the right-hander might be cleared to throw off a mound by the end of next week.
• Center fielder Michael Bourn is tentatively scheduled to be in camp to undergo a physical with the Indians on Thursday afternoon. Cleveland will likely hold a news conference on Friday to officially announce its four-year, $48 million contract with the outfielder.
• Indians Minor League reliever Trey Haley -- in camp as a non-roster invitee -- is dealing with a minor right shoulder issue, according to manager Terry Francona. The Tribe plans on slowing Haley's program over the course of the next week.
• Left-hander Edward Paredes, who is a non-roster invitee this spring, reported to Arizona on Wednesday after working through some passport issues in his native Dominican Republic. Paredes is expected to be in camp on Thursday.