2/22/2013 7:45 P.M. ET
Francona not concerned with pitching results
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona has stressed to all of his pitchers in these early stages of Spring Training that they are not under extreme evaluation right now. The goal should be to build up endurance and work on command, worrying later about results.
That includes right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is one of a handful of pitchers vying for the fifth spot in Cleveland's rotation. Francona knows the Japanese right-hander from their days with the Red Sox and has given the pitcher the same message as the other competitors.
"He's just like everybody else, getting his feet under him," Francona said. "He hadn't thrown any bullpens prior to coming to camp, so we told him we wouldn't be evaluating. Just build arm strength, get comfortable on the mound, things like that. But he looks completely healthy.
"He looks the same. The delivery looks fine. It'll be fun to go watch and see how he pitches."
Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his first Cactus League apperance of the spring Sunday in a split-squad home game against the Reds. Zach McAllister -- the favorite for the fourth rotation spot -- is slated to start and pitch two innings for the Tribe. Matsuzaka will likely follow McAllister with two innings of his own.
The other split-squad game will feature starters Carlos Carrasco (one inning), Scott Kazmir (two), Trevor Bauer (two) and David Huff (two). All four of those pitchers are in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Corey Kluber, who is also in the running for that job, is scheduled for two innings Saturday, when right-hander Brett Myers (two innings) is scheduled to start against Cincinnati. Myers is a virtual lock for the Opening Day rotation, as are Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez. Masterson and Jimenez are each scheduled to throw two innings on the road against the A's on Monday.
Besides Bourn, little set with Tribe lineup
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona essentially told his players and reporters the same thing in regards to the first starting lineup of the spring.
"Don't read too much into it," Francona said.
Cleveland's first batting order of the spring, assembled for Friday's Cactus League-opening 11-10 win against the Reds, had center fielder Michael Bourn in the leadoff spot. Francona said that is probably the only spot in the lineup set in stone at the moment.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, second baseman Jason Kipnis, first baseman Nick Swisher, left fielder Michael Brantley, catcher Carlos Santana, designated hitter Mark Reynolds, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and right fielder Drew Stubbs followed Bourn in the batting order.
Francona said he did not spend too much time piecing that together.
"That lineup is insignificant. It means nothing," Francona said. "Obviously, Bourn hitting leadoff -- that's kind of an easy one. But other than that, there was not a lot of thinking involved in that."
Asked if Swisher might be given a chance to stay in the cleanup spot, Francona only went as far as saying he has discussed different scenarios with the first baseman.
"I've talked to him a little bit," Francona said. "I'm not ready to make out the lineup for the season yet. Those things have a way of working themselves out. It just doesn't ever make sense to me to do it too quick, because then you backtrack."
Cleveland's projected Opening Day lineup incudes four pure left-handed hitters (Bourn, Kipnis, Brantley and Chisenhall), three switch-hitters (Cabrera, Swisher and Santana) and two right-handed hitters (Reynolds and Stubbs). Francona said his goal this year will be to keep a balanced order as often as possible.
"What I'd like to do," Francona said, "is not make it easy for the opposing manager to bring in a lefty without having to face either a switch-hitter or a right-hander. So, the way our team is constituted today, you're going to probably see a lefty hit lower than he's used to.
"It's because we're going to want to separate mostly Brantley and Kipnis. They're two good hitters. I'm not doing them any favors by hitting them back to back."
Indians unveil new motto to Tribe town
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have unveiled their new slogan for the 2013 season: This is a Tribe town.
Cleveland's new branding campaign, which replaces the "What If?" motto from the past two seasons, was revealed Friday, coinciding with the opening of the team's Cactus League slate. The new campaign features a series of videos of Indians players and personalities explaining why they chose to be a part of the Indians organization and the city of Cleveland.
First up in the video and audio campaign -- which will appear on television, radio, print, online and other ads -- is first-year manager Terry Francona, whose father, Tito, played for the Indians from 1959-64.
"I spent the first six years of my life here, going to the stadium with my dad: cheering for the Tribe, cheering for Cleveland," Francona says in the video, which can be viewed at indians.com. "This is a town that doesn't give up. Being a Cleveland sports fan takes resilience. The passion is real. The fans are real. Cleveland is a Tribe town."
Others featured in the campaign include radio play-by-play man Tom Hamilton, first baseman Nick Swisher, bench coach and former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr., and center fielder Michael Bourn.
"'This is a Tribe town' captures perfectly the passion we feel for our fans and the community we serve," Indians president Mark Shapiro said in a statement.
Quote to note
"I have an enormous amount of respect for Joe. When we played the Yankees, fans didn't want to see you go out and hug on the field, so we didn't. But more often than not, I'd go meet him in the tunnel or he'd give me a call or something. I really think a lot of him."
--Indians manager Terry Francona, on former Yankees and Team USA manager Joe Torre
• On Friday morning, Indians manager Terry Francona had a meeting with executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre, umpires supervisor Steve Palermo, and senior vice president of standards and on-field operations Joe Garagiola Jr. They went over some Major League Baseball rule changes, including the now illegal fake-to-third, throw-to-first move for pitchers.
"We just went over the balk move," Francona said. "It's a really good idea what they do -- spend maybe 45 minutes and you're allowed to ask questions. It's just some clarifications on things. It's a good idea. When Joe Torre walks in a room, that in itself is a good idea."
• The Indians have split-squad contests against the Reds at home in Goodyear and against the Brewers on the road in Maryvale, Ariz., on Sunday. Francona and third-base coach Brad Mills are planning on heading with the team on the road. At home, bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. will manage, and first-base coach Mike Sarbaugh will handle third-base coaching duties.
• The Indians have added a Michael Bourn replica jersey to this season's promotional giveaway schedule. Bourn jerseys will be handed out on Sept. 7, when Cleveland hosts the Mets. Other replica jersey giveaways this season include Jason Kipnis (June 15), Michael Brantley (July 27) and Nick Swisher (Aug. 24).
• Indians' single-game tickets go on sale Monday, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Fans will be able to purchase tickets on indians.com or by calling 216-420-HITS (4487). The April 8 home opener against the Yankees is nearly sold out.
• The proceeds from Friday's Cactus League game between the Indians and Reds will benefit Arizona in Action (aimed at educating and motivating people of all ages toward living healthier lifestyles) and Homeless Youth Connection (aimed at helping homeless teenagers).