3/15/2014 4:45 P.M. ET
LaHair to make first spring trip with Indians
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Bryan LaHair has worked his way back into Minor League games and will make his first trip with the big league club on Sunday, when the Indians visit the Giants in a split-squad game.
The utility man, in camp as a non-roster invitee, said he got three at-bats on Friday and played five innings in the field.
"Big step. Basically, yesterday was kind of a feeler day to see how it felt and see how I felt coming into today," LaHair said. "I squared up the ball good, swung and missed, didn't hurt. Got jammed, didn't hurt. So I kind of pretty much went through everything I envisioned going through and everything felt pretty good. Coming into today, I feel pretty good."
LaHair, a 39th-round pick of the Mariners in the 2002 Draft, signed as a free agent with the Indians this offseason after having surgery on his left hand in September. He spent the 2011-12 seasons with the Cubs, batting .263 with 18 homers and 46 RBIs in 150 games over two years.
"He's been working really hard and trying to get enough reps -- not too many reps -- working a rest day, like a recuperative day, and he will play in Scottsdale and get three at-bats tomorrow," manager Terry Francona said.
Marcum feeling good after first live bullpen session
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Veteran right-hander Shaun Marcum threw his first live bullpen session of the spring on Friday and said he felt "better than expected."
In a significant show of progress in his return from surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, Marcum said he threw about 20 pitches to batters plus warm-ups and was able to throw all his pitches, from both the stretch and the wind-up.
"It went well. Feeling pretty good," Marcum said. "Came out feeling a lot better than I thought I would. Still got some things I need to work on mechanically, but as far as the arm, health and everything feels great right now."
Marcum, a non-roster invitee, said he was "a little worried" about his location in the first bullpen session going in, but was pleased with the outcome. He's scheduled for another live BP session on Tuesday, and then hopes to work his way into Cactus League action.
The 32-year-old Marcum has spent eight years in the big leagues, most recently with the Mets last year. He was 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA in 14 games (12 starts).
Quote to note
"We're going to undoubtedly have some really difficult conversations the last week of camp because there's guys in here that we really like already and not everybody can make the team. And that's a difficult time in spring. Saying that, I guess I'd rather have that than not have any decisions because guys didn't play well or we're just lukewarm on guys." -- Francona on roster cuts and position battles
• Carlos Santana, who has primarily been focusing on competing for the third-base job this spring, is expected to get back behind the plate some this week, catching a bullpen on Monday and then likely appearing in a Cactus League game.
"He's willing to try," Francona said of Santana balancing multiple positions. "It's kind of a unique skill set and we're trying to balance the amount of work he's done just to play third. He's out there every morning. And on top of that, doing the catching, if he can do that, it's a unique skill set. There's not one team in baseball that has their backup catcher hit cleanup."
• Right-hander Danny Salazar threw three innings in a Minor League game on Friday, with velocity in the 92-98 mph range, and struck out six batters. He gave up a solo homer.
"Progressing really well," Francona said. "Felt good about how his arm felt. His next game will be in a regular game for us. Try to get him up to about four innings."
• Sunday's game against the Cubs in Mesa will be the Tribe's third opportunity to try out Major League Baseball's new instant replay system. In the two previous instances with replay available (including Friday against the White Sox), Francona has elected to not challenge any plays. He has said before he doesn't intend to use any opportunity as a practice run unless the situation truly calls for it.
The Indians' games March 17 and 24 against the Reds in Goodyear are the team's other two Cactus League games with instant replay available.
• Young right-hander Trevor Bauer was slated to throw four innings in a Minor League game on Saturday. He was hit hard in his last Cactus League outing -- to the tune of seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks in two innings.
• Francona said outfielder Nyjer Morgan (slight left calf strain) is "champing at the bit" to get back into game action, but he still needs to be medically cleared to do so.
• Former Major Leaguers and Indians coaches Robby Thompson and Carl Willis are in camp this week as special assistants and will work with Minor Leaguers.
"They're just guys that have a wealth of experience in baseball and they have ties to Cleveland and everybody loves them," Francona said. "I think it's a great idea. You can't walk by either one of those guys and not immediately fall into a comfortable conversation. And I would imagine if they spent 10 minutes with a Minor League player, they'd be better off for it."