03/09/2013 3:50 PM ET
Francona, Indians keep an eye on Classic
By William Boor / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- With five players participating in the World Baseball Classic, the Indians organization is certainly paying attention to the tournament.
The team would ideally like to have all its players in camp, but manager Terry Francona does not feel the Classic has hampered the Indians' regular Spring Training routine.
"The hardest thing for us is not having [Carlos] Santana, because a lot of things go through the catcher," Francona said. "In saying that, it has opened up a lot of room for guys to play. [Yan] Gomes has gotten to play a lot, but every team has to deal with [losing players to the World Baseball Classic.]"
In addition to Santana, who is catching for the Dominican Republic, Asdrubal Cabrera (Venezuela), Mike Aviles (Puerto Rico), Vinnie Pestano (USA) and Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico) are participating in the Classic.
Some managers worry about sending pitchers away during Spring Training, either because the pitchers' arms may not be ready for intense situations or because they will not get their work in, but that does not seem to be the case for Pestano.
"He warmed up in the fourth, he warmed up in the fifth and he pitched in the sixth, so that would be a no," Francona said when asked if he was concerned Pestano wouldn't get to pitch. "To this point, he's been on a real good schedule."
In his one inning during USA's 5-2 loss to Mexico, Pestano retired the side in order and recorded one strikeout.
Of the group, Santana is the only one to have played in two games. He is 1-for-5 with two RBIs, a home run and four walks as the Dominican Republic has posted a 2-0 record.
Aviles and Cabrera are a combined 0-for-5, with an RBI (Aviles) and a run scored (Cabrera).
Swisher, Francona look back on Rivera's career
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Mariano Rivera announced that the 2013 season would be his last, the impact was felt not just in the Yankees organization but throughout all of baseball.
"It's kind of sad to see a guy going through his last [season], but if you had to pick a career, that wouldn't be a bad one to pick," said Indians outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona, whose Boston Red Sox teams faced Rivera a number of times, echoed those sentiments.
"In the modern era, I don't know if there is anyone that can touch him," Francona said. "Just quiet [with a lot of] class."
Swisher was a teammate of Rivera's from 2009-12 and prior to that, he hit against Rivera as a member of the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox.
"It doesn't matter if he's 22 or 42," Swisher said. "He's a perfectionist. He knows what he's doing. He has a plan and knows exactly what he is doing every time he goes out there. I faced him about seven or eight years ago and I'm excited to see what it's like now, because he is the best."
If it's even possible to understate when saying someone is the best, it may be exactly what Swisher did when describing Rivera. The 18-year veteran enters the 2013 season with 608 saves and a 2.21 career ERA in over 1,200 innings pitched. Rivera is also a 12-time All-Star with five World Series rings.
"His numbers kind of speak for themselves," Swisher said. "He's been doing it for so long and he's done it the right way. ... Congratulations to him. It was an honor for me to play with him for four years and I just wish him the best of luck."
Bauer makes strong start in Minor League camp
MESA, Ariz. -- Trevor Bauer, the Indians' No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com, pitched in a Minor League game against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Bauer has pitched seven innings and posted a 2.57 ERA so far this spring. Although Bauer pitched with the Minor Leaguers on Saturday, manager Terry Francona said there was nothing to make of that and the club was simply getting the right-hander some work.
"Regardless of where he ends up on April 1, you're not going to see the finished product, because he has more developing to do," Francona said. "That doesn't mean he can't break [camp] with us."
The first two innings of Bauer's start took just 27 pitches as he faced seven White Sox batters, striking out two and walking one. Bauer allowing one hit in four innings of work.
Considering he was the third overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bauer's professional baseball career has been brief. However, it has been filled with controversy as his unconventional throwing routine, as well as his character, have been heavily scrutinized.
But since Bauer was traded to the Indians in December, everything has been relatively quiet and Francona likes what he has seen, even if it is a small Spring Training sample size.
"There's a lot to like," Francona said. "He has some developing going on, but he just turned 22. We've been real pleased. We've all been real pleased."
• The Indians have scheduled a Minor League game against the Seattle Mariners on Monday in Goodyear, Ariz. The extra game will allow the Indians pitchers to catch up on innings and appearances they may have missed during Friday's rainout.
• Michael Brantley will be in Sunday's lineup as the Indians host the Rangers in Goodyear. Francona said Brantley will be the designated hitter and bat toward the top of the order to try to get two at-bats. Brantley will likely follow that up with a couple of innings in left field during Monday's game against the Angels before the Indians off-day Tuesday.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.