3/13/2014 7:47 P.M. ET
Minor ailments improving for Murphy, Morgan
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- David Murphy and Nyjer Morgan said on Thursday they felt good, and both outfielders were hoping to move ahead without much limitation.
Morgan left Wednesday's game early and Murphy returned to the field for the first time in about a week.
Morgan started in center field against the Padres, recording two hits and scoring from second on a wild pitch and an error. He was lifted after an eighth-inning double with what the team is calling a slight left calf strain. He's considered day to day.
"Just a little minor thing. That just comes with playing hard, just a little tweak," Morgan said.
Morgan, a non-roster invitee, is 5-for-25 with two doubles, three RBIs, five runs and a stolen base in Cactus League play.
"We need to protect him from himself," manager Terry Francona said. "He's kind of on a mission here to kind of, if not show us, show the world that he's back and ready to play. And he plays so hard that he's going to have to pass some tests on the medical side. That's not to hinder him. That's to protect him."
Murphy, who started in right field in his first action since Sunday -- and his first time in the field since last Thursday -- went 1-for-3 with a strikeout. The veteran had been battling some left elbow soreness, but Francona and Murphy both said it's something he could have played through during the regular season.
"It's not like I skipped a beat or anything," Murphy said. "There's no reason to get out there when you're not 100 percent in Spring Training. It was achy, but I could have played through it. Yesterday I rested it for a while. It was annoying at some points, but I was able to throw 100 percent for the first time in a while."
Murphy, who was back in the lineup on Thursday at designated hitter, entered the day 3-for-18 with a run, a triple and two RBIs this spring.
Reliever Ramirez set for surgery on broken thumb
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- J.C. Ramirez suffered a fractured left thumb and ligament sprain during his "B" game appearance on Tuesday, which will likely sideline the right-hander for eight to 10 weeks.
Ramirez, a non-roster invitee, sustained the injury on a tag play. Surgery was scheduled for March 17 with Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic.
In two Cactus League appearances this spring, Ramirez logged 2 1/3 innings and gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits and one walk. He struck out four.
"Big arm. A lot to work with. Some erratic command," manager Terry Francona said. "I think the guys are looking forward to a chance to work with him. They're really excited about the chance; now it's going to be pushed back a little bit. That doesn't change anything except it's gonna be pushed back a little bit."
The 25-year-old was signed by the Mariners as an amateur free agent in 2005 and appeared in 18 games with the Phillies last year. He went 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 24 innings.
Quote to note
"Everybody has their their own idea of what Spring Training should look like. You see some teams, where they'll play the regulars the first three days and they just get all the aches and pains out of the way. I would prefer to play everybody every other day for a while then to start -- going two, off one, two, off one. I've never been a proponent of guys have to play nine innings. I think your catchers do. But not the position players, because Spring Training games aren't the same as regular-season games. We all see it. The seventh-eighth-ninth innings, they slow down. Just getting them ready is what's important."
-- Francona on getting players chances during Cactus League play
• Right-hander Shaun Marcum, coming back from surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, will throw live batting practice on Friday. Righty Danny Salazar and setup man Cody Allen are scheduled to appear in a Minor League camp game.
• Carlos Carrasco was scheduled to throw four innings in Thursday's camp game.
• Outfielder Bryan LaHair, who had left hand surgery in September, is expected to see action in Minor League games this weekend.
• Righty Matt Capps (right shoulder muscle strain) initiated a return-to-throwing program on Monday and is currently up to 75 feet.
• In keeping with the trend of the week -- the Indians named Justin Masterson the Opening Day starter on Tuesday and Corey Kluber the No. 2 on Wednesday -- Francona told Thursday's starter Zach McAllister that he would be the No. 3 man in the rotation this season. McAllister went 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 24 starts last year.
"We're awfully proud. Masty -- that's an easy one. And Corey and Zach have come so far so quick," Francona said. "Maybe we're making a bigger deal out of announcing it, but it's fun. It's rewarding to even say it, and I want those guys to enjoy not just the accomplishment or the honor of it, but to take it and run with it."