1/26/2014 3:46 P.M. ET
Vizquel honored to go into Tribe Hall of Fame
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Omar Vizquel was a defensive artist with a glove and he is currently an artist with a paint brush. Asked on Sunday afternoon how he might design a sculpture of himself, the former Indians shortstop flashed a smile.
"Maybe a barehand play," said Vizquel, raising his right arm with an invisible ball in hand.
Vizquel is not getting a statue like his former Indians teammate Jim Thome -- not yet, anyway -- but the 11-time Gold Glover and longtime Tribe shortstop will be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame on June 21. Vizquel said he was amazed by the honor.
"It's a great piece of history for me that I got to be inducted in the Hall of Fame," Vizquel said, "especially here, where people relate to me as an Indian. When they talk about Omar Vizquel, they always relate the Indians with it. I played in Seattle for five years and I played with the Giants for four years, but I played 11 years here.
"This is where I really established myself. I'm so happy that it happened here with the Indians."
Vizquel played in parts of 24 seasons with the Mariners, Indians, Giants, Rangers, White Sox and Blue Jays, amassing 2,877 hits along the way. Among Major League shortstops, Vizquel is the all-time leader in double plays turned (1,734), games played (2,709) and fielding percentage (.985).
Vizquel -- currently the first-base coach for the Tigers -- will become eligible for baseball's Hall of Fame in 2018, along with Thome.
"I never really pictured myself as a Hall of Famer," Vizquel said. "I really have some great numbers out there, and if people can recognize that and put me in that spot, it'd be amazing. ... Obviously, just being in the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame is a little step that they can recognize, and maybe someday they can vote for me."
Vizquel also has dreams of one day working as a manager in the big leagues.
"That's going to be the final goal," said Vizquel, who worked as a roving infield instructor for the Angels last season. "I think it's great that I have this opportunity now with the Detroit Tigers to experience some of the things that go on behind the doors."
Kipnis open to talking long-term extension
CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis does not want any distractions once Opening Day arrives. If the Indians are going to discuss a contract extension with the All-Star second baseman, he feels Spring Training is the time to approach the subject.
During Tribe Fest on Sunday, Kipnis said he is open to long-term contract talks.
"Absolutely," Kipnis said. "We haven't talked about it yet [this offseason]. My guess is, if we were going to, it'd probably start in Spring Training, when everybody comes there. They've got their hands full with other stuff to take care of first. There's arbitration cases on other players. It'll come after -- when the time is right."
Cleveland is still engaged in contract talks with arbitration-eligible players Justin Masterson, Michael Brantley, Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin.
Kipnis said extension talks "just didn't work out" last winter.
"We put a deadline on it for the start of the season," Kipnis said. "So that's kind of the reason that it stopped. Both sides were trying to get something done, but we just didn't come to the middle point yet. We just didn't kind of agree on years and numbers yet, but both of us are still trying."
Last season, the 26-year-old Kipnis posted a .284/.366/.452 slash line in 149 games, during which he piled up 17 home runs, 36 doubles, four triples, 30 stolen bases, 84 RBIs and 86 runs for Cleveland. The second baseman will likely open this season as the team's No. 3 hitter.
"I'm looking forward to getting started," Kipnis said. "We know we can win with the group of guys we have in this locker room. We just did it last year, so we're looking to build off it that way."
Ex-hurler Nagy returns to Indians as an instructor
CLEVELAND -- Former Indians pitcher Charles Nagy will be back in a Cleveland uniform this spring.
The Indians have hired Nagy as an instructor, though the specifics of his new role with the organization will be hammered out with general manager Chris Antonetti before the season. The 46-year-old Nagy was dismissed from his role as the D-backs' pitching coach at the end of last season.
"I just recently signed on with the Tribe," Nagy said at Tribe Fest on Saturday. "The role will be defined at some point as to what I'm going to do during the season. ... I told Chris I will do anything. I'll rub up balls for you. I'll catch bullpens."
Nagy previously served as a pitching coach for Triple-A Columbus in 2010 and for Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels) in '05-06. It is believed he will work with Minor League pitchers this season for Cleveland, which also employed him as a special assistant to baseball operations after he retired from playing.
Nagy suited up for the Indians in 13 of his 14 seasons in the Majors, going 129-105 with a 4.51 ERA in 318 career games with Cleveland and San Diego. Nagy, who ranks 10th on the Tribe's all-time wins list, was a first-round selection for the team in the 1988 First-Year Player Draft.
"It's just a comforting feeling being back here," Nagy said. "I was coming down the steps from the players' parking lot and I was thinking I spent a lot of years coming down these steps."
Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said he is looking forward to having Nagy in camp with the club this spring.
"It's unbelievable," Callaway said. "I know Charlie well and he's a great guy. He's going to be a great brain for these guys to pick. [Zach] McAllister and [Corey] Kluber, he'll be so valuable to those type of guys who are really trying to get a full season under their belt. Nagy did it for a long time and stayed healthy, so he'll be able to guide those guys."
Quote to note
"It was like when you put food on the table and he's got to eat it. When we got on base, he was hungry. That boy was always hungry."
-- Former Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, on Albert Belle
• Indians general manager Chris Antonetti recently noted that center fielder Michael Bourn played through a "torn and ruptured" left hamstring during the American League Wild Card Game against the Rays. At Tribe Fest on Sunday, Bourn said he feels great following October surgery and is eager to get to Spring Training.
"I wanted to get right down to the bottom of it," Bourn said of having the surgery early in the offseason. "They got it done quick and I started my rehab. I feel pretty good right now. We'll see how everything goes in Spring Training. I expect everything to go OK and be ready to go into the season. I'm running. I haven't been at 100-percent full speed, but I'm running pretty good. I'm just trying to take it slow."
• Callaway said that reports on reliever Vinnie Pestano, who dealt with a right elbow injury last season and lost his role as the setup man, have been good this winter. Pestano will enter Spring Training with a chance to win back a spot in Cleveland's bullpen.
"He's working hard," Callaway said. "His body is in really good shape right now and we're looking forward to getting him back to where he was. I think some of that [World Baseball Classic] injury kind of really trained his arm to do something different than what he's done in the past."
• Callaway explained this weekend that Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco has raised his lead arm in his delivery in an effort to create more deception. Carrasco will come into camp with a chance to win a spot in the Indians' rotation, but could be a fallback option for the bullpen.
"He's done some really good work," Callaway said. "He's eager for the season to start, because he knows he can pitch better than how he's pitched in the past, with the few adjustments we've made this offseason. He's been doing a lot of drills to really get his body in the position we want him in, and he looks really natural."