3/12/2014 1:31 P.M. ET
Lindor among first round of Tribe spring roster cuts
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Former No. 1 Draft pick Francisco Lindor was among the 12 cuts made by the Indians on Wednesday during the club's first roster moves of the spring.
The team optioned five players to Triple-A Columbus, one to Class A Carolina and reassigned six to Minor League camp. The cuts bring the total number of players in Indians camp to 53.
In addition to Lindor, catcher Jake Lowery, outfielder Tyler Naquin, catcher Roberto Perez, infielder Joe Wendle and catcher/infielder Tony Wolters were reassigned to Minor League camp. Each of those six was a non-roster invitee.
Right-hander Austin Adams, left-hander T.J. House, infielder Jesus Aguilar, infielder Jose Ramirez and outfielder Carlos Moncrief were all optioned to Columbus. Infielder Erik Gonzalez was optioned to Carolina.
Lindor, 20, is considered the Indians' top prospect by MLB.com and enters the season ranked No. 10 on MLB.com's Prospect Watch. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft went 4-for-15 with a double, five runs, a home run and four RBIs in eight spring games.
"Our group of young players jumped out at us," manager Terry Francona said. "I don't know if I want to say it's rare, but I think we're very fortunate that we have a core group of young players that are so professional and respectful.
"This is kind of how we envisioned it when we brought them to Major League camp, and to a kid, they were respectful, they played hard, they learned, they asked questions. It went just like we wanted it to. I think every one of those kids that were in camp will be better off for it."
Francona being choosy about using replay
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have had one game to try out baseball's new instant replay system, but didn't make use of it and manager Terry Francona doesn't see himself doing so just for the sake of practice.
The club's first chance to appeal calls made in Cactus League games was Monday; Francona chose not to have anything reviewed. There was one close play on a stolen base he considered, but chose not to argue after talking it over with his staff.
The team's next opportunity will be Friday against the White Sox.
"When you really think about it, what's the use of running out on the field, making the umpire put the headset on so he can walk out onto the field and say, 'We were right,'?" Francona said. "I think the goal of this is to not change the game, but to change the calls that can alter the outcome of the game. That's really what it is."
Francona said he's learned plenty about the new replay system by chatting with umpires Jim Joyce and Mike Winters this spring. And as for the other rule changes, he's taken time to instruct his baserunners to slide on all close plays at home plate and for catchers to stick to the status quo. In reference to MLB's new home-plate collision rule, he said it's a rarity to see such a thing in a Spring Training game anyhow.
"We've just told our guys to slide," Francona said. "That way we'll never be ruled out by an illegal play and if a catcher doesn't properly [block the plate], or blocks the plate too early, maybe we can go out and say this. But at worst, we're not going to be ruled out because we did something illegal.
"And as far as the catchers go, we've told them, basically, the game's the same. But you cannot block the plate before you have the ball. That part hasn't changed. They're just going to enforce it now."
Raburn hopes to be back in lineup Thursday
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ryan Raburn felt good enough coming off his two-hit "B" game performance Tuesday to speculate that he could be back in the big league lineup as soon as Thursday.
The outfielder went 2-for-3 with a walk against the White Sox, and said any lingering effects from his right-field wall collision last week aren't going to be made worse by getting back into games.
"I felt good, so hopefully get back in there tomorrow and see where it goes," Raburn said, adding that he didn't know if he would potentially be a designated hitter or play right field.
"[Raburn] swung the bat well," manager Terry Francona said of the "B" game. "Still a little sore. But it's just a contusion, so he's sore. It's not going to set him back."
Raburn has been out of the lineup since Friday after injuring himself tracking down a fly ball against the Cubs and suffering a left knee contusion and a cut lip. He's 6-for-10 with three runs, two doubles, two home runs and six RBIs in five Cactus League games.
"If I can get around all right -- it still hurts -- but it's one of those things where I don't think I'm going to hurt it any worse than it already is," he said.
Quote to note
"We're trying to balance guys trying to make the team, getting ready for the season, being fair to everybody. The first couple weeks, we had [Corey Kluber pitch second in a game]. Cooperative group of guys. And we don't want for one minute to lose sight of that. We had a couple games where [Carlos Carrasco] came in third. I'm telling you, I've been on other teams where that doesn't work. But it was easier to set up their days if we did that, and nobody said a word. We appreciate that."
-- Francona on pitchers' willingness to pitch in "B" games or in other unconventional situations
• Outfielder David Murphy was back in the starting lineup for the Indians on Wednesday, playing right field. He hadn't appeared in a game since Sunday and had not played the field since March 6 while dealing with a sore left elbow.
"We DHed him a couple days to keep his at-bats on schedule," Francona said. "He would have played through it. I don't think there's a reason to do that right now. With 'B' games, DHing, we can get guys their at-bats."
• The Indians have another "B" game scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in Goodyear. Carrasco, a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, is expected to throw four innings. He has given up six hits (one home run) and three runs (one earned) in seven innings this spring, walking one and striking out nine.