Today’s Opening Day starting Brian Cushing Jersey lineups

Below are starting lineups that have been made public by the clubs. A lineup is not official until it is handed to the umpire. Additional lineups will be added as they become available:

Brian Cushing Jersey Sale

St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds, 9:15 A.M. EST

Brian Cushing Jersey

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

Lineup not yet available

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

  1. CF: Billy Hamilton
  2. 2B: Brandon Phillips
  3. 1B: Joey Votto
  4. RF: Jay Bruce
  5. LF: Ryan Ludwick
  6. 3B: Todd Frazier
  7. SS: Zack Cozart
  8. C: Brayan Pena
  9. SP: Johnny Cueto

Kansas City Royals vs Detroit Tigers, 1:08 P.M. EST

Kansas City Royals Lineup

  1. RF: Norichika Aoki
  2. 2B: Omar Infante
  3. 1B: Eric Hosmer
  4. DH: Billy Butler
  5. LF: Alex Gordon
  6. C: Salvador Perez
  7. 3B: Mike Moustakas
  8. CF: Lorenzo Cain
  9. Brian Cushing Texans Jersey

  10. SS: Alcides Escobar
  11. SP: James Shields
Detroit Tigers Lineup

  1. 2B: Ian Kinsler
  2. Houston Texans Brian Cushing Camo Football Jersey

  3. RF: Torii Hunter
  4. 1B: Miguel Cabrera
  5. DH: Victor Martinez
  6. CF: Austin Jackson
  7. C: Alex Avila
  8. 3B: Nick Castellanos
  9. SS: Alex Gonzalez
  10. LF: Rajai Davis
  11. SP: Justin Verlander
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Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays, 4:10 P.M. EST Brian Cushing NFL Uniform

Toronto Blue Jays Lineup

Lineup not yet available

Tampa Bay Rays Lineup

  1. LF: David DeJesus
  2. RF: Wil Myers
  3. 2B: Ben Zobrist
  4. 3B: Evan Longoria
  5. 1B: James Loney
  6. CF: Desmond Jennings
  7. DH: Matt Joyce
  8. C: Jose Molina
  9. SS: Yunel Escobar
  10. SP: David Price

D-backs’ Hernandez has torn Adrian Peterson Jersey Authentic UCL

PHOENIX — Three days after their ace underwent Tommy John surgery, the D-backs learned Friday that their setup man is facing the same season-ending procedure, as David Adrian Peterson Jersey Authentic Hernandez was diagnosed with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.

The hard-throwing reliever will seek a second opinion on Monday in Pensacola, Fla., from Dr. James Andrews to confirm if surgery is needed. If Adrian Peterson Jersey he does submit to the procedure, Hernandez will join Patrick Corbin, who had surgery on Tuesday, Daniel Hudson and Matt Reynolds as D-backs recovering from Tommy John. Recovery time typically ranges from 12-18 months.

“It’s kind of deflating, but at the same time, you have to keep moving forward,” Hernandez said. “I know it’s a long process, but I have people around here to talk to. I guess Corbin and I will be hanging out a lot this summer.”

Hernandez initially felt discomfort in his arm a couple weeks ago, but like Corbin when he first noticed something, the right-hander assumed the soreness was nothing serious and that he would be able to push through it.

Hernandez even thought his arm was starting 2014 Men’s Nike Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson Elite Team Color Jersey to improve after he received treatment and threw an inning without issues vs. the Cubs on Wednesday. But the D-backs asked him to go in for a precautionary MRI a day later, which resulted in the unexpected diagnosis.

“I never heard a pop,” said Hernandez, who isn’t sure of the extent of the tear. “I just thought it was one of Adrian Peterson Football Shirts those things every pitcher goes through. I’ve pitched through discomfort before and it has gone away.”

Projected to be the club’s eighth-inning reliever, Hernandez threw well this spring after struggling in 2013. He reported to camp having lost weight and regained his confidence, going on to work 8 1/3 Cactus League innings, surrendering two runs while striking out five.

Now, the D-backs will need to turn elsewhere in their bullpen for a replacement. Potential candidates include past closers Brad Ziegler and J.J. Putz, along with another hard-thrower in Will Harris.

“It’s disappointing, but we have to regroup,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “I don’t have answer for who will be there, but we do have some guys with experience in the back end. Our bullpen will have a different dynamic, but it’s just another opportunity for someone else. We still have a lot of good choices.”

Because of Hernandez’s injury, it appears the D-backs will not need to make a roster decision this weekend to round out their bullpen. The club previously had more relievers in camp than spots on the team, but with Hernandez down, the bullpen will in all likelihood consist of Ziegler, Putz, Harris, Addison Reed, Josh Collmenter, Oliver Perez and Joe Thatcher.

Right-hander Bo Schultz is still with the team, but the D-backs prefer him as a starter. He has a 2.84 ERA over 6 1/3 Cactus League innings this spring and made his Major League debut in Australia by tossing a clean frame vs. the Dodgers.

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Cruz exits game after being Adrian Peterson Oklahoma Jersey hit by pitch on helmet

SARASOTA, Fla. — Nelson Cruz took a pitch to his helmet Thursday afternoon by Rays pitcher Alex Cobb and exited the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, but appears to be fine.

Cruz, who was hit near his left ear, was able to walk off the field by himself and was fortunate that it was an offspeed pitch from Cobb. He walked to the training room with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, where he was further examined.

He was replaced by Delmon Young.

Cruz was taken to a local hospital for a CT scan, per MLB protocol, but wasn’t showing any concussion symptoms.

Cruz is 11-for-39 with six doubles and four RBIs this spring.

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SARASOTA,Fla. — Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Aceves will not make the Orioles’ roster and will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract to leave the organization, according to an industry source.

The move makes it likely Evan Meek will get the final bullpen spot, assuming there aren’t any other trades or waiver-wire pickups. Zach Britton and Josh Stinson, who are both out of options, figure to make the bullpen as well.

Aceves, 31, was signed to a Minor League contract this winter and allowed five earned runs over 10 innings on 11 hits and two walks. He also had six strikeouts. The move would leave the O’s with 35 players in camp.

SARASOTA, Fla. — Nolan Reimold, who will be officially placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season, wants to be clear: This is not a new injury or another setback with which the outfielder has to deal. Instead, it’s a move that will enable Reimold to get back to playing the field and the Orioles to have a fully healthy 25-man roster come Monday’s Opening Day.

“I guess [it’s] kind of a mutual decision,” said Reimold, who was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup and will have his DL stay backdated from there. “It’s best for me, best for the team. I think it’s best for everybody. From my point of view, it’s important for me when I play, to play well and to finish strong rather than go out there and be in pain or uncomfortable early on. I think it’s the right decision from everyone’s point of view.”

Reimold is coming off back-to-back neck surgeries, including a corrective fusion surgery after he was cleared to play too early the first time. He has played in 56 games combined the past two seasons, his last one coming July 13.

“I don’t have a problem swinging,” he said. “Obviously, I DHed and everything. It’s playing the field early on, got pretty uncomfortable. But where I’m at right now, I’ve progressed very well and I’m far ahead of Adrian Peterson Oklahoma Sooners Jersey schedule for anybody who’s had this kind of surgery before. But it’s not side to side. It’s more like extension and the constant grind and pounding that a baseball season would take on you. What we do is make sure I can play the field every day before I come back, just to make sure it’s OK. I have to be certain that I can play.”

Reimold is well aware of the injury-prone label he’s been tagged with by fans and the general Men’s Nike Oklahoma Sooners 28 Adrian Peterson Authentic White College Football Jersey criticism that went with the news of him going on the DL.

“I’m more tired about talking about it than anybody,” Reimold said. “I’m ready for these neck issues to be over and done with. If I look at it from where I’m at right now, I’ve progressed a lot from the beginning of Spring Training to now. So I will keep progressing and I’ll be Men’s Nike Oklahoma Sooners 28 Adrian Peterson Red College Football Jersey 100 percent in the near future.”

SARASOTA, Fla. — Johan Santana threw off a regular mound for the first time Thursday and manager Buck Showalter indicated he could be pitching in an extended spring game sooner than expected.

“It is a long process, but there’s big hurdles he’s clearing every day,” Showalter said of Santana, who is coming off his second left shoulder surgery. “I like the fact that he’s doing it and is able to come back on his work day, his start day. Getting over those hurdles. He hasn’t missed anything yet. You can see in his face how good he feels about it.”

Santana said he will throw again Tuesday and three days after that will do the same thing he did Thursday, which included getting up and warming up, stopping and repeating the cycle.

“If we feel good and everything is coming along we are going to start facing hitters and building it up,” Santana said of the plan following next week’s mound session. “After that’s it’s just a matter of time. We don’t know how long or how many times we are going to do that until we start getting into games and hopefully able to compete.”

Santana, signed March 4, will stay in extended spring and work with athletic trainer Chris Correnti and said the biggest thing is his recovery. The 35-year-old, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, could be an option for the Orioles in June and has been working on throwing all of his pitches.

“Put it this way: I feel good,” he said. “What that means, time will tell. I feel really good. So does that mean we are going to be on the mound facing hitters soon? I don’t know. But I’m optimistic when it’s time I will be ready and we will carry that through the season. Not just one game and one time. I want to do it the rest of the season.”

Yahoo makes Adrian Peterson Jersey for Kids fantasy game easier than ever

We’ve given you expert draft tips and we’ve been updating the MLB.com Player Preview rankings and offering around the clock help at MLB.com/fantasy.

Now it’s about time to set aside those everyday tasks and draft those rosters, if you are among those waiting as long as possible for the latest spring evidence or just adding yet another league to your 2014 arsenal. Adrian Peterson Jersey for Kids That means it is time to sign up for a free league in Yahoo Fantasy Baseball, the official fantasy game of MLB.com.

“I love Yahoo Fantasy Baseball. I can remember all the way back to 2001, which was my first year of fantasy baseball,” league owner Colin Shipley of St. Louis said in an email Wednesday to MLB.com. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into and didn’t realize this ‘thing’ would be such a big part of my life. Yahoo’s fantasy baseball platform is great.

“The first thing Adrian Peterson Women’s Jersey I can tell you I enjoy about it is that it is easy to navigate. This is something I believe is overlooked in other fantasy sites. Yahoo keeps it simple and easy to find the information you’re looking for. The community-based tools and forums are also great. On Yahoo, it’s simple to talk with people and get information and feedback. Another new tool this year that I really like is the updates to Yahoo’s mobile app. Before it was OK and did a good job, but now with the upgrade and the ability to perform drafts, mock drafts, receive updates and live scoring all from my phone, that’s just fantastic.”

Through the partnership between Yahoo and MLB Advanced Media, fantasy owners will be able to view MLB.com content, and MLB.TV subscribers will get additional features, integrated seamlessly into the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball experience. You also can follow all of the in-game action using the MLB.TV Player Tracker and relive top plays and game-changing moments. These highlights will be integrated into Yahoo Fantasy Baseball on the PC, mobile and iPad apps.

Here are some of the key advancements with Yahoo Fantasy Baseball:

Improved iPhone and Android apps. Now part of the universal fantasy app, along with other YahooAdrian Peterson Jersey Youth Drafting, including mock drafting, isMinnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson Infant Jersey on Android and iOS devices. There are major performance enhancements forAdrian Peterson Jersey for Sale and Android devices.

New design. It’s an updated look and feel with two options: dark or light background. Roster moves autosave on the Team page. Find improved smack-talk on Matchup pages.

24/7 drafts. Now you can draft all day, draft all night. There are no limits on when you want to draft, mock drafts included.

Pro League Enhancements. Auction leagues are now supported. You get more choices, Yahoo Fantasy Baseball has added $50 and $250 leagues in addition to $20 and $100 leagues. Prizes are available for each of the top three places.

Knowledge is king for hardcore fantasy players, and Yahoo Fantasy Baseball will continue to bring users news, injury reports and roster moves through its Players Notes. Combine that with allAdrian Peterson NFL Football Uniform latest info at MLB.com/fantasy and you have an edge in 2014.

You’re evaluating Yu Darvish, you have a feel for price ranges for various players, you are following every possible source of latest information, and you are ready to create or join a league.

“I’ve been a regular fantasy player for 13 years with Yahoo,” Shipley said, “and I would recommend it for anyone who is looking to start playing or looking for a new site to play on.”

Selig Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey recalls most memorable, exciting Opening Days

MILWAUKEE — My favorite Opening Day was April 7, 1970, the first day that the Milwaukee Brewers played in County Stadium. Despite all the wonderful things that have happened to me since, that remains the single proudest day of my career.

It was the end result of 5 1/2 to six years of hard, hard work, trying to get baseball back to Milwaukee after the Braves left. It was an unbelievable day. We got word that we could purchase the Seattle Pilots on March 31 at 10:15 p.m. Our staff at that time was me and a temporary telephone receptionist, Betty Grant. She stayed for 30 years. That was it, the whole staff.

But on April 7, we had 37,237 people at County Stadium. I remember there was such genuine joy at the return of baseball. We lost that day, 12-0, to Andy Messersmith and the California Angels, but I will say in all honesty that was the only time in my life when I didn’t give a damn that we lost. I was so thrilled, so elated that we had been able to bring baseball back to Milwaukee. The joy in that ballpark on that day, the splendid shared emotion, was Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey unbelievable.

The home Women’s Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey opener in 1975, April 11, was special, too, because we were able to bring Henry Aaron back to Milwaukee. He had been a very good friend of mine for 20 years and of course he was a beloved figure here from his years with the Braves. I believe we beat Cleveland that day, and Henry drove in a run. But I also remember people singing “Hello, Henry” to the tune of “Hello, Dolly.”

This is the kind of positive emotion that an Opening Day and baseball can generate. I don’t think you find that anywhere else.

And then I have to recall Opening Day in 1980, April 10 in Milwaukee, when we were playing the Boston Red Sox. What a game.

It was a back-and-forth game, really one of those classics. I remember I was sitting with Haywood Sullivan, one of the Red Sox owners. We later went to dinner together. But I went out to the loge in front of the press box as I often did and there it was — ninth inning, tie game, two outs, bases loaded, and Sixto Lezcano hits a real drive to right-center off Dick Drago. And it’s gone. A grand-slam home run in the ninth inning to win, 9-5, on Opening Day. That was incredible.

We had a real run from 1978 through 1982, of course, the American League championship team. Those were really good clubs, capable of generating that kind of excitement.

The late former Commissioner Bart Giamatti used to refer to the annual renaissance of baseball. There is a renaissance in Milwaukee every spring. There is something special about Opening Day every year, but this year that will be particularly true in light of the horrendous winter we’ve had. I love Opening Days here, for a lot of reasons. And this March 31 — ironically enough against the Braves — will be even more meaningful than usual. It will be another real renaissance.

MILWAUKEE — My favorite Opening Day was April 7, 1970, the first day that the Milwaukee Brewers played in County Stadium. Despite all the wonderful things that have happened to me since, that remains the single proudest day of my career.

It was the end result of 5 1/2 to six years of hard, hard work, trying to get baseball back to Milwaukee after the Braves left. It was an unbelievable day. We got word that we could purchase the Seattle Pilots on March 31 at 10:15 p.m. Our staff at that time was me and a temporary telephone receptionist, Betty Grant. She stayed for 30 years. That was it, the whole staff.

But on April 7, we had 37,237 people at County Stadium. I remember there was such genuine joy at the return of baseball. We lost that day, 12-0, to Andy Messersmith and the California Angels, but I will say in all honesty that was the only time in my life when I didn’t give a damn that we lost. I was so thrilled, so elated that we had been able to bring baseball back to Milwaukee. The joy in that ballpark on that day, the splendid shared emotion, was Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey unbelievable.

The home Women’s Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey opener in 1975, April 11, was special, too, because we were able to bring Henry Aaron back to Milwaukee. He had been a very good friend of mine for 20 years and of course he was a beloved figure here from his years with the Braves. I believe we beat Cleveland that day, and Henry drove in a run. But I also remember people singing “Hello, Henry” to the tune of “Hello, Dolly.”

This is the kind of positive emotion that an Opening Day and baseball can generate. I don’t think you find that anywhere else.

And then I have to recall Opening Day in 1980, April 10 in Milwaukee, when we were playing the Boston Red Sox. What a Women’s Nike Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson New Limited Pink Be Luv’d Fashion Jersey game.

It was a back-and-forth game, really one of those classics. I remember I was sitting with Haywood Sullivan, one of the Red Sox owners. We later went to dinner together. But I went out to the loge in front of the press box as I often did and there it was — ninth inning, tie game, two outs, bases loaded, and Sixto Lezcano hits a real drive to right-center off Dick Drago. And it’s gone. A grand-slam home run in the ninth inning to win, 9-5, on Opening Day. That was incredible.

We had a real run from 1978 through 1982, of course, the American League championship team. Those were really good clubs, capable of generating that kind of excitement.

The late former Commissioner Bart Giamatti used to refer to the annual renaissance of baseball. There is a renaissance in Milwaukee every spring. There is something special about Opening Day every year, but this year that will be particularly true in light of the horrendous winter we’ve had. I love Opening Days here, for a lot of reasons. And this March 31 — ironically enough against the Braves — will be even more meaningful than usual. It will be another real renaissance.

MILWAUKEE — My favorite Opening Day was April 7, 1970, the first day that the Milwaukee Brewers played in County Stadium. Despite all the wonderful things that have happened to me since, that remains the single proudest day of my career.

It was the end result of 5 1/2 to six years of hard, hard work, trying to get baseball back to Milwaukee after the Braves left. It was an unbelievable day. We got word that we could purchase the Seattle Pilots on March 31 at 10:15 p.m. Our staff at that time was me and a temporary telephone receptionist, Betty Grant. She stayed for 30 years. That was it, the whole staff.

But on April 7, we had 37,237 people at County Stadium. I remember there was such genuine joy at the return of baseball. We lost that day, 12-0, to Andy Messersmith and the California Angels, but I will say in all honesty that was the only time in my life when I didn’t give a damn that we lost. I was so thrilled, so elated that we had been able to bring baseball back to Milwaukee. The joy in that ballpark on that day, the splendid shared emotion, was Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey unbelievable.

The home Women’s Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey opener in 1975, April 11, was special, too, because we were able to bring Henry Aaron back to Milwaukee. He had been a very good friend of mine for 20 years and of course he was a beloved figure here from his years with the Braves. I believe we beat Cleveland that day, and Henry drove in a run. But I also remember people singing “Hello, Henry” Women’s Nike Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson Limited Pink Sweetheart Fashion Jersey to the tune of “Hello, Dolly.”

This is the kind of positive emotion that an Opening Day and baseball can generate. I don’t think you find that anywhere else.

And then I have to recall Opening Day in 1980, April 10 in Milwaukee, when we were playing the Boston Red Sox. What a game.

It was a back-and-forth game, really one of those classics. I remember I was sitting with Haywood Sullivan, one of the Red Sox owners. We later went to dinner together. But I went out to the loge in front of the press box as I often did and there it was — ninth inning, tie game, two outs, bases loaded, and Sixto Lezcano hits a real drive to right-center off Dick Drago. And it’s gone. A grand-slam home run in the ninth inning to win, 9-5, on Opening Day. That was incredible.

We had a real run from 1978 through 1982, of course, the American League championship team. Those were really good clubs, capable of generating that kind of excitement.

The late former Commissioner Bart Giamatti used to refer to the annual renaissance of baseball. There is a renaissance in Milwaukee every spring. There is something special about Opening Day every year, but this year that will be particularly true in light of the horrendous winter we’ve had. I love Opening Days here, for a lot of reasons. And this March 31 — ironically enough against the Braves — will be even more meaningful than usual. It will be another real renaissance.

MILWAUKEE — My favorite Opening Day was April 7, 1970, the first day that the Milwaukee Brewers played in County Stadium. Despite all the wonderful things that have happened to me since, that remains the single proudest day of my career.

It was the end result of 5 1/2 to six years of hard, hard work, trying to get baseball back to Milwaukee after the Braves left. It was an unbelievable day. We got word that we could purchase the Seattle Pilots on March 31 at 10:15 p.m. Our staff at that time was me and a temporary telephone receptionist, Betty Grant. She stayed for 30 years. That was it, the whole staff.

But on April 7, we had 37,237 people at County Stadium. I remember there was such genuine joy at the return of baseball. We lost that day, 12-0, to Andy Messersmith and the California Angels, but I will say in all honesty that was the only time in my life when I didn’t give a damn that we lost. I was so thrilled, so elated that we had been able to bring baseball back to Milwaukee. The joy in that ballpark on that day, the splendid shared emotion, was Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey unbelievable.

The home Women’s Adrian Peterson Pink Jersey Women’s Nike Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson Limited Pink Draft Him Shimmer Fashion Jersey opener in 1975, April 11, was special, too, because we were able to bring Henry Aaron back to Milwaukee. He had been a very good friend of mine for 20 years and of course he was a beloved figure here from his years with the Braves. I believe we beat Cleveland that day, and Henry drove in a run. But I also remember people singing “Hello, Henry” to the tune of “Hello, Dolly.”

This is the kind of positive emotion that an Opening Day and baseball can generate. I don’t think you find that anywhere else.

And then I have to recall Opening Day in 1980, April 10 in Milwaukee, when we were playing the Boston Red Sox. What a game.

It was a back-and-forth game, really one of those classics. I remember I was sitting with Haywood Sullivan, one of the Red Sox owners. We later went to dinner together. But I went out to the loge in front of the press box as I often did and there it was — ninth inning, tie game, two outs, bases loaded, and Sixto Lezcano hits a real drive to right-center off Dick Drago. And it’s gone. A grand-slam home run in the ninth inning to win, 9-5, on Opening Day. That was incredible.

We had a real run from 1978 through 1982, of course, the American League championship team. Those were really good clubs, capable of generating that kind of excitement.

The late former Commissioner Bart Giamatti used to refer to the annual renaissance of baseball. There is a renaissance in Milwaukee every spring. There is something special about Opening Day every year, but this year that will be particularly true in light of the horrendous winter we’ve had. I love Opening Days here, for a lot of reasons. And this March 31 — ironically enough against the Braves — will be even more meaningful than usual. It will be another real renaissance.

In it for long haul, Jadeveon Clowney Jersey Bourn to start year on DL

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The more Michael Bourn thought about it, the less sense it made to try to rush through his rehab in order to be in the Opening Day lineup for the Indians. On Monday, the center fielder met with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona to discuss the situation.

It was determined in that meeting that Bourn would open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.

“I’d rather have my leg healthy and be ready to play for the long haul,” Bourn said, “than try to make it for Opening Day just because.”

Bourn, who tweaked his hamstring in a game against the Giants on March 16, has progressed only to running forward on the grass agility field at Cleveland’s complex in Arizona. The center fielder said he might test his leg on the bases as early as Tuesday but that it was subject to change.

Bourn has been able to hit and throw, but the running program has been conservative given the importance of speed to his overall game. Because of the timing of the DL stint, Antonetti said that Bourn would miss at least the first four games of the season, meaning April 5 would represent the earliest possible return date.

“As we walked through it, it just seemed like it made sense to start him on the disabled list,” Francona said. “What we want, all of our goals combined, are to have him back being Bourny. Not half of Bourny. Not part of him.

“We understand he’d play. If we asked him to, he’d play. We have no doubt about that. He’d go out there with one leg hanging off, but we need to have his speed impact our club, and so we need to let him try to build up properly so he can really help us.”

Bourn, 31, hit .263 with six home runs, 21 doubles, six triples, 50 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games last year for the Indians, who signed him to a four-year contract worth $48 million two winters ago. Bourn had surgery on his left hamstring on Oct. 15, though the team has said the current injury is unrelated.

Bourn said he planned to be smart about his current comeback.

“I don’t know percentage-wise, but I’m feeling OK,” Bourn said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I know it’s coming along. It feels much better than it did. I just want to make sure I’m healthy first, and then I’ll start to ramp up to where I’m starting to get back in game shape.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Nyjer Morgan tried to keep a straight face, but the smile grew wider as he talked to a group of reporters on Monday morning. The outfielder came into Indians camp on a mission to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mission accomplished.

“I wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that I’m a great player,” Morgan said. “And more than likely, I can help this organization. I worked hard this offseason. Mentally, physically, I feel really prepared. I feel that I’ve earned this spot. I’ve earned this situation.

“Hard work is what got me here, and the hard work is definitely not going to stop.”

A spot opened on Cleveland’s roster after the club determined that Michael Bourn‘s left hamstring strain would necessitate a trip to the 15-day disabled list for the center fielder to begin the season. In Morgan, the Indians have a fleet-footed outfielder capable of manning center field and affecting a game on the basepaths.

In parts of six big league seasons, the 33-year-old Morgan has hit .280 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage in stints with the Pirates, the Nationals and the Brewers. Last year, Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan, turning in a .294/.361/.434 slash line in 108 games. The Tribe signed him to a Minor League contract on Jan. 16 as a potential reserve outfielder.

“Nyjer’s had a really good camp,” Indians general manager Jadeveon Clowney Jersey Chris Antonetti said. “He’s come in and done everything we could’ve asked of him in the way he’s played the game — offensively, defensively — and in the way he’s gone about his business day to day.”

Morgan — famous for an alter ego, Tony Plush, that has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past — maintained a Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney Jersey low profile throughout camp with Cleveland this spring. With a new set of eyes on him, the energetic outfielder wanted to show whom he really was as a person and player.

“It was very important,” Morgan said. “Just want to leave all the other mularky behind me and basically just show the new me, the new veteran, the guy I am. Basically, I wanted to show them who Nyjer Morgan is, and not Tony Plush.”

Asked if Plush also made the Opening Day roster, Morgan laughed.

“Yeah, he made it,” Morgan said. “He’s here. I’ll know when to bring him out.”

Told of Morgan’s comment, Francona cracked a smile.

“We didn’t need to hear that,” the manager joked. “We only have room for 25, so Nyjer makes it and Tony doesn’t. He is not part of the team.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday that he would be included on the Opening Day roster. After the early-morning conversation, manager Terry Francona was even happier with that decision.

“Lonnie’s responses to us,” Francona said, “were by far the most mature, the most encouraging things we’ve heard him say since we’ve known him. That was probably the highlight of the day.”

This spring, Chisenhall has been competing for at-bats at third base with cleanup hitter Carlos Santana, who projects to open the year as a part-time third baseman and backup catcher for the Tribe. Santana’s transition to the hot corner put some addition pressure on Chisenhall, who has had inconsistent results in parts of three seasons in the Majors.

Francona is still not entirely sure how the at-bats will be divided this season at third base. Helping matters is the fact that the Indians do not have a full-time designated hitter, which is a role Chisenhall could fill on occasion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Chisenhall expressed a willingness to do whatever was asked of him this year.

“It’s part of the maturation process,” Antonetti said. “To hear Lonnie, in his own words, to say and take responsibility for being that player that has that team-first approach was really encouraging to hear.”

Chisenhall is batting .308 with two home runs, five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He added his second homer in his first at-bat of Monday’s 8-3 win against the Reds.

Francona said it would take time to sort out exactly how Chisenhall would be used this season.

“There’s some moving parts,” Francona said. “I feel confident that Lonnie is going to do everything he can when asked, to try to help us win. That’s what I’m confident in. I just think that you see a kid growing up right in front of your eyes. It’s kind of fun. It kind of feels rewarding.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As a former player, Indians manager Terry Francona understands that the day of a demotion is not always the best time for a detailed conversation — but it was just that Monday morning for prospect Trevor Bauer.

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti told Bauer he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, taking the young right-hander out of the mix for Cleveland’s final rotation spot. Bauer took the news in stride and had a productive discussion with the manager and GM.

“We kind of talked to Trevor at length this morning,” Francona said. “We asked him, ‘Are you ready to listen?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s a pretty thoughtful guy. We talked to him at length and tried to get him to understand where we view him.”

With the 23-year-old Bauer heading back to the Minors, only right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are left in the Indians’ rotation battle. Veteran Aaron Harang, who was told Sunday that he would not make the team, opted out of his Minor League contract on Monday and joined the Braves as a free agent.

The fact that Bauer remained in the running until Monday was a testament to the work he put in over the winter. Through last season and into the offseason, Bauer overhauled the mechanics of his delivery. In 16 innings between Cactus League games and Minor League games this spring, the pitcher allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits with 18 strikeouts against eight walks.

Cleveland acquired Bauer from the D-backs in the nine-player, three-team deal that also involved the Reds in December 2012.

“It was a high-profile trade,” Francona said. He goes through mechanical changes because of an injury and is trying to get back to where he was, had a lot of hiccups last year. He comes into camp really thinking he’s ready to go, because he worked so hard, and had a few more hiccups. The last two weeks, he has done everything in his power that shows us that his path is coming.

“And when it gets here, again, we want this kid to come here and stay here. So, finding consistency in what he does is very important. We have a lot of confidence in the fact that he will do that.”

Antonetti echoed Francona’s remarks.

“The one thing we’re so encouraged about,” Antonetti said, “is right now Trevor is far closer to being a very successful Major League pitcher than he was six months ago and than he was two weeks ago even. He’s on that right path.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The more Michael Bourn thought about it, the less sense it made to try to rush through his rehab in order to be in the Opening Day lineup for the Indians. On Monday, the center fielder met with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona to discuss the situation.

It was determined in that meeting that Bourn would open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.

“I’d rather have my leg healthy and be ready to play for the long haul,” Bourn said, “than try to make it for Opening Day just because.”

Bourn, who tweaked his hamstring in a game against the Giants on March 16, has progressed only to running forward on the grass agility field at Cleveland’s complex in Arizona. The center fielder said he might test his leg on the bases as early as Tuesday but that it was subject to change.

Bourn has been able to hit and throw, but the running program has been conservative given the importance of speed to his overall game. Because of the timing of the DL stint, Antonetti said that Bourn would miss at least the first four games of the season, meaning April 5 would represent the earliest possible return date.

“As we walked through it, it just seemed like it made sense to start him on the disabled list,” Francona said. “What we want, all of our goals combined, are to have him back being Bourny. Not half of Bourny. Not part of him.

“We understand he’d play. If we asked him to, he’d play. We have no doubt about that. He’d go out there with one leg hanging off, but we need to have his speed impact our club, and so we need to let him try to build up properly so he can really help us.”

Bourn, 31, hit .263 with six home runs, 21 doubles, six triples, 50 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games last year for the Indians, who signed him to a four-year contract worth $48 million two winters ago. Bourn had surgery on his left hamstring on Oct. 15, though the team has said the current injury is unrelated.

Bourn said he planned to be smart about his current comeback.

“I don’t know percentage-wise, but I’m feeling OK,” Bourn said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I know it’s coming along. It feels much better than it did. I just want to make sure I’m healthy first, and then I’ll start to ramp up to where I’m starting to get back in game shape.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Nyjer Morgan tried to keep a straight face, but the smile grew wider as he talked to a group of reporters on Monday morning. The outfielder came into Indians camp on a mission to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mission accomplished.

“I wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that I’m a great player,” Morgan said. “And more than likely, I can help this organization. I worked hard this offseason. Mentally, physically, I feel really prepared. I feel that I’ve earned this spot. I’ve earned this situation.

“Hard work is what got me here, and the hard work is definitely not going to stop.”

A spot opened on Cleveland’s roster after the club determined that Michael Bourn‘s left hamstring strain would necessitate a trip to the 15-day disabled list for the center fielder to begin the season. In Morgan, the Indians have a fleet-footed outfielder capable of manning center field and affecting a game on the basepaths.

In parts of six big league seasons, the 33-year-old Morgan has hit .280 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage in stints with the Pirates, the Nationals and the Brewers. Last year, Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan, turning in a .294/.361/.434 slash line in 108 games. The Tribe signed him to a Minor League contract on Jan. 16 as a potential reserve outfielder.

“Nyjer’s had a really good camp,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s come in and done everything we could’ve asked of him in the way he’s played the game — offensively, defensively — and in the way he’s gone about his business day to day.”

Morgan — famous for an alter ego, Tony Plush, that has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past — maintained a low profile throughout camp with Cleveland this spring. With a new set of eyes on him, the energetic outfielder wanted to show whom he really was as a person and player.

“It was very important,” Morgan said. “Just want to leave all the other mularky behind me and basically just show the new me, the new veteran, the guy I am. Basically, I wanted to show them who Nyjer Morgan is, and not Tony Plush.”

Asked if Plush also made the Opening Day roster, Morgan laughed.

“Yeah, he made it,” Morgan said. “He’s here. I’ll know when to bring him out.”

Told of Morgan’s comment, Francona cracked a smile.

“We didn’t need to hear that,” the manager joked. “We only have room for 25, so Nyjer makes it and Tony doesn’t. He is not part of the team.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday that he would be included on the Opening Day roster. After the early-morning conversation, manager Terry Francona was even happier with that decision.

“Lonnie’s responses to us,” Francona said, “were by far the most mature, the most encouraging things we’ve heard him say since we’ve known him. That was probably the highlight of the day.”

This spring, Chisenhall has been competing for at-bats at third base with cleanup hitter Carlos Santana, who projects to open the year as a part-time third baseman and backup catcher for the Tribe. Santana’s transition to the hot corner put some addition pressure on Chisenhall, who has had inconsistent results in parts of three seasons in the Majors.

Francona is still not entirely sure how the at-bats will be divided this season at third base. Helping matters is the fact that the Indians do not have a full-time designated hitter, which is a role Chisenhall could fill on occasion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Chisenhall expressed a willingness to do whatever was asked of him this year.

“It’s part of the maturation process,” Antonetti said. “To hear Lonnie, in his own words, to say and take responsibility for being that player that has that team-first approach was really encouraging to hear.”

Chisenhall is batting .308 with two home runs, five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He added his second homer in his first at-bat of Monday’s 8-3 win against the Reds.

Francona said it would take time to sort out exactly how Chisenhall would be used this season.

“There’s some moving parts,” Francona said. “I feel confident that Lonnie is going to do everything he can when asked, to try Jadeveon Clowney Apparel to help us win. That’s what I’m confident in. I just think that you see a kid growing up right in front of your eyes. It’s kind of fun. It kind of feels rewarding.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As a former player, Indians manager Terry Francona understands that the day of a demotion is not always the best time for a detailed conversation — but it was just that Monday morning for prospect Trevor Bauer.

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti told Bauer he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, taking the young right-hander out of the mix for Cleveland’s final rotation spot. Bauer took the news in stride and had a productive discussion with the manager and GM.

“We kind of talked to Trevor at length this morning,” Francona said. “We asked him, ‘Are you ready to listen?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s a pretty thoughtful guy. We talked to him at length and tried to get him to understand where we view him.”

With the 23-year-old Bauer heading back to the Minors, only right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are left in the Indians’ rotation battle. Veteran Aaron Harang, who was told Sunday that he would not make the team, opted out of his Minor League contract on Monday and joined the Braves as a free agent.

The fact that Bauer remained in the running until Monday was a testament to the work he put in over the winter. Through last season and into the offseason, Bauer overhauled the mechanics of his delivery. In 16 innings between Cactus League games and Minor League games this spring, the pitcher allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits with 18 strikeouts against eight walks.

Cleveland acquired Bauer from the D-backs in the nine-player, three-team deal that also involved the Reds in December 2012.

“It was a high-profile trade,” Francona said. He goes through mechanical changes because of an injury and is trying to get back to where he was, had a lot of hiccups last year. He comes into camp really thinking he’s ready to go, because he worked so hard, and had a few more hiccups. The last two weeks, he has done everything in his power that shows us that his path is coming.

“And when it gets here, again, we want this kid to come here and stay here. So, finding consistency in what he does is very important. We have a lot of confidence in the fact that he will do that.”

Antonetti echoed Francona’s remarks.

“The one thing we’re so encouraged about,” Antonetti said, “is right now Trevor is far closer to being a very successful Major League pitcher than he was six months ago and than he was two weeks ago even. He’s on that right path.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The more Michael Bourn thought about it, the less sense it made to try to rush through his rehab in order to be in the Opening Day lineup for the Indians. On Monday, the center fielder met with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona to discuss the situation.

It was determined in that meeting that Bourn would open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.

“I’d rather have my leg healthy and be ready to play for the long haul,” Bourn said, “than try to make it for Opening Day just because.”

Bourn, who tweaked his hamstring in a game against the Giants on March 16, has progressed only to running forward on the grass agility field at Cleveland’s complex in Arizona. The center fielder said he might test his leg on the bases as early as Tuesday but that it was subject to change.

Bourn has been able to hit and throw, but the running program has been conservative given the importance of speed to his overall game. Because of the timing of the DL stint, Antonetti said that Bourn would miss at least the first four games of the season, meaning April 5 would represent the earliest possible return date.

“As we walked through it, it just seemed like it made sense to start him on the disabled list,” Francona said. “What we want, all of our goals combined, are to have him back being Bourny. Not half of Bourny. Not part of him.

“We understand he’d play. If we asked him to, he’d play. We have no doubt about that. He’d go out there with one leg hanging off, but we need to have his speed impact our club, and so we need to let him try to build up properly so he can really help us.”

Bourn, 31, hit .263 with six home runs, 21 doubles, six triples, 50 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games last year for the Indians, who signed him to a four-year contract worth $48 million two winters ago. Bourn had surgery on his left hamstring on Oct. 15, though the team has said the current injury is unrelated.

Bourn said he planned to be smart about his current comeback.

“I don’t know percentage-wise, but I’m feeling OK,” Bourn said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I know it’s coming along. It feels much better than it did. I just want to make sure I’m healthy first, and then I’ll start to ramp up to where I’m starting to get back in game shape.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Nyjer Morgan tried to keep a straight face, but the smile grew wider as he talked to a group of reporters on Monday morning. The outfielder came into Indians camp on a mission to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mission accomplished.

“I wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that I’m a great player,” Morgan said. “And more than likely, I can help this organization. I worked hard this offseason. Mentally, physically, I feel really prepared. I feel that I’ve earned this spot. I’ve earned this situation.

“Hard work is what got me here, and the hard work is definitely not going to stop.”

A spot opened on Cleveland’s roster after the club determined that Michael Bourn‘s left hamstring strain would necessitate a trip to the 15-day disabled list for the center fielder to begin the season. In Morgan, the Indians have a fleet-footed outfielder capable of manning center field and affecting a game on the basepaths.

In parts of six big league seasons, the 33-year-old Morgan has hit .280 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage in stints with the Pirates, the Nationals and the Brewers. Last year, Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan, turning in a .294/.361/.434 slash line in 108 games. The Tribe signed him to a Minor League contract on Jan. 16 as a potential reserve outfielder.

“Nyjer’s had a really good camp,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s come in and done everything we could’ve asked of him in the way he’s played the game — offensively, defensively — and in the way he’s gone about his business day to day.”

Morgan — famous for an alter ego, Tony Plush, that has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past — maintained a low profile throughout camp with Cleveland this spring. With a new set of eyes on him, the energetic outfielder wanted to show whom he really was as a person and player.

“It was very important,” Morgan said. “Just want to leave all the other mularky behind me and basically just show the new me, the new veteran, the guy I am. Basically, I wanted to show them who Nyjer Morgan is, and not Tony Plush.”

Asked if Plush also made the Opening Day roster, Morgan laughed.

“Yeah, he made it,” Morgan said. “He’s here. I’ll know when to bring him out.”

Told of Morgan’s comment, Francona cracked a smile.

“We didn’t need to hear that,” the manager joked. “We only have room for 25, so Nyjer makes it and Tony doesn’t. He is not part of the team.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday that he would be included on the Opening Day roster. After the early-morning conversation, manager Terry Francona was even happier with that decision.

“Lonnie’s responses to us,” Francona said, “were by far the most mature, the most encouraging things we’ve heard him say since we’ve known him. That was probably the highlight of the day.”

This spring, Chisenhall has been competing for at-bats at third base with cleanup hitter Carlos Santana, who projects to open the year as a part-time third baseman and backup catcher for the Tribe. Santana’s transition to the hot corner put some addition pressure on Chisenhall, who has had inconsistent results in parts of three seasons in the Majors.

Francona is still not entirely sure how the at-bats will be divided this season at third base. Helping matters is the fact that the Indians do not have a full-time designated hitter, which is a role Chisenhall could fill on occasion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Chisenhall expressed a willingness to do whatever was asked of him this year.

“It’s part of the maturation process,” Antonetti said. “To hear Lonnie, in his own words, to say and take responsibility for being that player that has that team-first approach was really encouraging to hear.”

Chisenhall is batting .308 with two home runs, five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He added his second homer in his first at-bat of Monday’s 8-3 win against the Reds.

Francona said it would take time to sort out exactly how Chisenhall would be used this season.

“There’s some moving parts,” Francona said. “I feel confident that Lonnie is going to do everything he can when asked, to try to help us win. That’s what I’m confident in. I just think that you see a kid growing up right in front of your eyes. It’s kind of fun. It kind of feels rewarding.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As a former player, Indians manager Terry Francona understands that the day of a demotion is not always the best time for a detailed conversation — but it was just that Monday morning for prospect Trevor Bauer.

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti told Bauer he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, taking the young right-hander out of the mix for Cleveland’s final rotation spot. Bauer took the news in stride and had a productive discussion with the manager and GM.

“We kind of talked to Trevor at length this morning,” Francona said. “We asked him, ‘Are you ready to listen?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s a pretty thoughtful guy. We talked to him at length and tried to get him to understand where we view him.”

With the 23-year-old Bauer heading back to the Minors, only right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are left in the Indians’ rotation battle. Veteran Aaron Harang, who was told Sunday that he would not make the team, opted out of his Minor League contract on Monday and joined the Braves as a free agent.

The fact that Bauer remained in the running until Monday was a testament to the work he put in over the winter. Through last season and into the offseason, Bauer overhauled the mechanics of his delivery. In 16 innings between Cactus League games and Minor League games this spring, the pitcher allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits with 18 strikeouts against eight walks.

Cleveland acquired Bauer from the D-backs in the nine-player, three-team deal that also involved the Reds in December 2012.

“It was a high-profile trade,” Francona said. He goes through mechanical changes because of an injury and is trying to get back to where he was, had a lot of hiccups last year. He comes into camp really Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney Merchandise Shop thinking he’s ready to go, because he worked so hard, and had a few more hiccups. The last two weeks, he has done everything in his power that shows us that his path is coming.

“And when it gets here, again, we want this kid to come here and stay here. So, finding consistency in what he does is very important. We have a lot of confidence in the fact that he will do that.”

Antonetti echoed Francona’s remarks.

“The one thing we’re so encouraged about,” Antonetti said, “is right now Trevor is far closer to being a very successful Major League pitcher than he was six months ago and than he was two weeks ago even. He’s on that right path.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The more Michael Bourn thought about it, the less sense it made to try to rush through his rehab in order to be in the Opening Day lineup for the Indians. On Monday, the center fielder met with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona to discuss the situation.

It was determined in that meeting that Bourn would open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.

“I’d rather have my leg healthy and be ready to play for the long haul,” Bourn said, “than try to make it for Opening Day just because.”

Bourn, who tweaked his hamstring in a game against the Giants on March 16, has progressed only to running forward on the grass agility field at Cleveland’s complex in Arizona. The center fielder said he might test his leg on the bases as early as Tuesday but that it was subject to change.

Bourn has been able to hit and throw, but the running program has been conservative given the importance of speed to his overall game. Because of the timing of the DL stint, Antonetti said that Bourn would miss at least the first four games of the season, meaning April 5 would represent the earliest possible return date.

“As we walked through it, it just seemed like it made sense to start him on the disabled list,” Francona said. “What we want, all of our goals combined, are to have him back being Bourny. Not half of Bourny. Not part of him.

“We understand he’d play. If we asked him to, he’d play. We have no doubt about that. He’d go out there with one leg hanging off, but we need to have his speed impact our club, and so we need to let him try to build up properly so he can really help us.”

Bourn, 31, hit .263 with six home runs, 21 doubles, six triples, 50 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games last year for the Indians, who signed him to a four-year contract worth $48 million two winters ago. Bourn had surgery on his left hamstring on Oct. 15, though the team has said the current injury is unrelated.

Bourn said he planned to be smart about his current comeback.

“I don’t know percentage-wise, but I’m feeling OK,” Bourn said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I know it’s coming along. It feels much better than it did. I just want to make sure I’m healthy first, and then I’ll start to ramp up to where I’m starting to get back in game shape.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Nyjer Morgan tried to keep a straight face, but the smile grew wider as he talked to a group of reporters on Monday morning. The outfielder came into Indians camp on a mission to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mission accomplished.

“I wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that I’m a great player,” Morgan said. “And more than likely, I can help this organization. I worked hard this offseason. Mentally, physically, I feel really prepared. I feel that I’ve earned this spot. I’ve earned this situation.

“Hard work is what got me here, and the hard work is definitely not going to stop.”

A spot opened on Cleveland’s roster after the club determined that Michael Bourn‘s left hamstring strain would necessitate a trip to the 15-day disabled list for the center fielder to begin the season. In Morgan, the Indians have a fleet-footed outfielder capable of manning center field and affecting a game on the basepaths.

In parts of six big league seasons, the 33-year-old Morgan has hit .280 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage in stints with the Pirates, the Nationals and the Brewers. Last year, Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan, turning in a .294/.361/.434 slash line in 108 games. The Tribe signed him to a Minor League contract on Jan. 16 as a potential reserve outfielder.

“Nyjer’s had a really good camp,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s come in and done everything we could’ve asked of him in the way he’s played the game — offensively, defensively — and in the way he’s gone about his business day to day.”

Morgan — famous for an alter ego, Tony Plush, that has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past — maintained a low profile throughout camp with Cleveland this spring. With a new set of eyes on him, the energetic outfielder wanted to show whom he really was as a person and player.

“It was very important,” Morgan said. “Just want to leave all the other mularky behind me and basically just show the new me, the new veteran, the guy I am. Basically, I wanted to show them who Nyjer Morgan is, and not Tony Plush.”

Asked if Plush also made the Opening Day roster, Morgan laughed.

“Yeah, he made it,” Morgan said. “He’s here. I’ll know when to bring him out.”

Told of Morgan’s comment, Francona cracked a smile.

“We didn’t need to hear that,” the manager joked. “We only have room for 25, so Nyjer makes it and Tony doesn’t. He is not part of the team.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday that he would be included on the Opening Day roster. After the early-morning conversation, manager Terry Francona was even happier with that decision.

“Lonnie’s responses to us,” Francona said, “were by far the most mature, the most encouraging things we’ve heard him say since we’ve known him. That was probably the highlight of the day.”

This spring, Chisenhall has been competing for at-bats at third base with cleanup hitter Carlos Santana, who projects to open the year as a part-time third baseman and backup catcher for the Tribe. Santana’s transition to the hot corner put some addition pressure on Chisenhall, who has had inconsistent results in parts of three seasons in the Majors.

Francona is still not entirely sure how the at-bats will be divided this season at third base. Helping matters is the fact that the Indians do not have a full-time designated hitter, which is a role Chisenhall could fill on occasion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Chisenhall expressed a willingness to do whatever was asked of him this year.

“It’s part of the maturation process,” Antonetti said. “To hear Lonnie, in his own words, to say and take responsibility for being that player that has that team-first approach was really encouraging to hear.”

Chisenhall is batting .308 with two home runs, five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He added his second homer in his first at-bat of Monday’s 8-3 win against the Reds.

Francona said it would take time to sort out exactly how Chisenhall would be used this season.

“There’s some moving parts,” Francona said. “I feel confident that Lonnie is going to do everything he can when asked, to try to help us win. That’s what I’m confident in. I just think that you see a kid growing up right in front of your eyes. It’s kind of fun. It kind of feels rewarding.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As a former player, Indians manager Terry Francona understands that the day of a demotion is not always the best time for a detailed conversation — but it was just that Monday morning for prospect Trevor Bauer.

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti told Bauer he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, taking the young right-hander out of the mix for Cleveland’s final rotation spot. Bauer took the news in stride and had a productive discussion with the manager and GM.

“We kind of talked to Trevor at length this morning,” Francona said. “We asked him, ‘Are you ready to listen?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s a pretty thoughtful guy. We talked to him at length and tried to get him to understand where we view him.”

With the 23-year-old Bauer heading back to the Minors, only right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are left in the Indians’ rotation battle. Veteran Jadeveon Clowney Texans Jersey class=”token token-playerCard” id=”token-4F581DF05BE0DB2EBF982″>Aaron Harang, who was told Sunday that he would not make the team, opted out of his Minor League contract on Monday and joined the Braves as a free agent.

The fact that Bauer remained in the running until Monday was a testament to the work he put in over the winter. Through last season and into the offseason, Bauer overhauled the mechanics of his delivery. In 16 innings between Cactus League games and Minor League games this spring, the pitcher allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits with 18 strikeouts against eight walks.

Cleveland acquired Bauer from the D-backs in the nine-player, three-team deal that also involved the Reds in December 2012.

“It was a high-profile trade,” Francona said. He goes through mechanical changes because of an injury and is trying to get back to where he was, had a lot of hiccups last year. He comes into camp really thinking he’s ready to go, because he worked so hard, and had a few more hiccups. The last two weeks, he has done everything in his power that shows us that his path is coming.

“And when it gets here, again, we want this kid to come here and stay here. So, finding consistency in what he does is very important. We have a lot of confidence in the fact that he will do that.”

Antonetti echoed Francona’s remarks.

“The one thing we’re so encouraged about,” Antonetti said, “is right now Trevor is far closer to being a very successful Major League pitcher than he was six months ago and than he was two weeks ago even. He’s on that right path.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The more Michael Bourn thought about it, the less sense it made to try to rush through his rehab in order to be in the Opening Day lineup for the Indians. On Monday, the center fielder met with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona to discuss the situation.

It was determined in that meeting that Bourn would open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.

“I’d rather have my leg healthy and be ready to play for the long haul,” Bourn said, “than try to make it for Opening Day just because.”

Bourn, who tweaked his hamstring in a game against the Giants on March 16, has progressed only to running forward on the grass agility field at Cleveland’s complex in Arizona. The center fielder said he might test his leg on the bases as early as Tuesday but that it was subject to change.

Bourn has been able to hit and throw, but the running program has been conservative given the importance of speed to his overall game. Because of the timing of the DL stint, Antonetti said that Bourn would miss at least the first four games of the season, meaning April 5 would represent the earliest possible return date.

“As we walked through it, it just seemed like it made sense to start him on the disabled list,” Francona said. “What we want, all of our goals combined, are to have him back being Bourny. Not half of Bourny. Not part of him.

“We understand he’d play. If we asked him to, he’d play. We have no doubt about that. He’d go out there with one leg hanging off, but we need to have his speed impact our club, and so we need to let him try to build up properly so he can really help us.”

Bourn, 31, hit .263 with six home runs, 21 doubles, six triples, 50 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games last year for the Indians, who signed him to a four-year contract worth $48 million two winters ago. Bourn had surgery on his left hamstring on Oct. 15, though the team has said the current injury is unrelated.

Bourn said he planned to be smart about his current comeback.

“I don’t know percentage-wise, but I’m feeling OK,” Bourn said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I know it’s coming along. It feels much better than it did. I just want to make sure I’m healthy first, and then I’ll start to ramp up to where I’m starting to get back in game shape.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Nyjer Morgan tried to keep a straight face, but the smile grew wider as he talked to a group of reporters on Monday morning. The outfielder came into Indians camp on a mission to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mission accomplished.

“I wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that I’m a great player,” Morgan said. “And more than likely, I can help this organization. I worked hard this offseason. Mentally, physically, I feel really prepared. I feel that I’ve earned this spot. I’ve earned this situation.

“Hard work is what got me here, and the hard work is definitely not going to stop.”

A spot opened on Cleveland’s roster after the club determined that Michael Bourn‘s left hamstring strain would necessitate a trip to the 15-day disabled list for the center fielder to begin the season. In Morgan, the Indians have a fleet-footed outfielder capable of manning center field and affecting a game on the basepaths.

In parts of six big league seasons, the 33-year-old Morgan has hit .280 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage in stints with the Pirates, the Nationals and the Brewers. Last year, Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan, turning in a .294/.361/.434 slash line in 108 games. The Tribe signed him to a Minor League contract on Jan. 16 as a potential reserve outfielder.

“Nyjer’s had a really good camp,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s come in and done everything we could’ve asked of him in the way he’s played the game — offensively, defensively — and in the way he’s gone about his business day to day.”

Morgan — famous for an alter ego, Tony Plush, that has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past — maintained a low profile throughout camp with Cleveland this spring. With a new set of eyes on him, the energetic outfielder wanted to show whom he really was as a person and player.

“It was very important,” Morgan said. “Just want to leave all the other mularky behind me and basically just show the new me, the new veteran, the guy I am. Basically, I wanted to show them who Nyjer Morgan is, and not Tony Plush.”

Asked if Plush also made the Opening Day roster, Morgan laughed.

“Yeah, he made it,” Morgan said. “He’s here. I’ll know when to bring him out.”

Told of Morgan’s comment, Francona cracked a smile.

“We didn’t need to hear that,” the manager joked. “We only have room for 25, so Nyjer makes it and Tony doesn’t. He is not part of the team.”

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday that he would be included on the Opening Day roster. After the early-morning conversation, manager Terry Francona was even happier with that decision.

“Lonnie’s responses to us,” Francona said, “were by far the most mature, the most encouraging things we’ve heard him say since we’ve known him. That was probably the highlight of the day.”

This spring, Chisenhall has been competing for at-bats at third base with cleanup hitter Carlos Santana, who projects to open the year as a part-time third baseman and backup catcher for the Tribe. Santana’s transition to the hot corner put some addition pressure on Chisenhall, who has had inconsistent results in parts of three seasons in the Majors.

Francona is still not entirely sure how the at-bats will be divided this season at third base. Helping matters is the fact that the Indians do not have a full-time designated hitter, which is a role Chisenhall could fill on occasion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Chisenhall expressed a willingness to do whatever was asked of him this year.

“It’s part of the maturation process,” Antonetti said. “To hear Lonnie, in his own words, to say and take responsibility for being that player that has that team-first approach was really encouraging to hear.”

Chisenhall is batting .308 with two home runs, five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He added his second homer in his first at-bat of Monday’s 8-3 win against the Reds.

Francona said it would take time to sort out exactly how Chisenhall would be used this season.

“There’s some moving parts,” Francona said. “I feel confident that Lonnie is going to do everything he can when asked, to try to help us win. That’s what I’m confident in. I just think that you see a kid growing up right in front of your eyes. It’s kind of fun. It kind of feels rewarding.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As a former player, Indians manager Terry Francona understands that the day of a demotion is not always the best time for a detailed conversation — but it was just that Monday morning for prospect Trevor Bauer.

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti told Bauer he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, taking the young right-hander out of the mix for Cleveland’s final rotation spot. Bauer took the news in stride and had a productive discussion with the manager and GM.

“We kind of talked to Trevor at length this morning,” Francona said. “We asked him, ‘Are you ready to listen?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s a pretty thoughtful guy. We talked to him at length and tried to get him to understand where we view him.”

With the 23-year-old Bauer heading back to the Minors, only right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are left in the Indians’ rotation battle. Veteran Aaron Harang, who was told Sunday that he would not make the team, opted out of his Minor League contract on Monday and joined the Braves as a free agent.

The fact that Bauer remained in the running until Monday was a testament to the work he put in over the winter. Through last season and into the offseason, Bauer overhauled the mechanics of his delivery. In 16 innings between Cactus League games and Minor League games this spring, the pitcher allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits with 18 strikeouts against eight walks.

Cleveland acquired Bauer from the D-backs in the nine-player, three-team deal that also involved the Reds in December 2012.

“It was a high-profile trade,” Francona said. He goes through mechanical changes because of an injury and is trying to get back to where he was, had a lot of hiccups last year. He comes into camp really thinking he’s ready to go, because he worked so hard, and had a few more hiccups. The last two weeks, he has done everything in his power that shows us that his path is coming.

“And when it gets here, again, we want this kid to come here and stay here. So, finding consistency in what he does is very important. We have a lot of confidence in the fact that he will do that.”

Antonetti echoed Francona’s remarks.

“The one thing we’re so encouraged about,” Antonetti said, “is right now Trevor is far closer to being a very successful Major League pitcher than he was six months ago and than he was two weeks ago even. He’s on that right path.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The more Michael Bourn thought about it, the less sense it made to try to rush through his rehab in order to be in the Opening Day lineup for the Indians. On Monday, the center fielder met with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona to discuss the situation.

It was determined in that meeting that Bourn would open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.

“I’d rather have my leg healthy and be ready to play for the long haul,” Bourn said, “than try to make it for Opening Day just because.”

Bourn, who tweaked his hamstring in a game against the Giants on March 16, has progressed only to running forward on the grass agility field at Cleveland’s complex in Arizona. The center fielder said he might test his leg on the bases as early as Tuesday but that it was subject to change.

Bourn has been able to hit and throw, but the running program has been conservative given the importance of speed to his overall game. Because of the timing of the DL stint, Antonetti said that Bourn would miss at least the first four games of the season, meaning April 5 would represent the earliest possible return date.

“As we walked through it, it just seemed like it made sense to start him on the disabled list,” Francona said. “What we want, all of our goals combined, are to have him back being Bourny. Not half of Bourny. Not part of him.

“We understand he’d play. If we asked him to, he’d play. We have no doubt about that. He’d go out there with one leg hanging off, but we need to have his speed impact our club, and so we need to let him try to build up properly so he can really help us.”

Bourn, 31, hit .263 with six home runs, 21 doubles, six triples, 50 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games last year for the Indians, who signed him to a four-year contract worth $48 million two winters ago. Bourn had surgery on his left hamstring on Oct. 15, though the team has said the current injury is unrelated.

Bourn said he planned to be smart about his current comeback.

“I don’t know percentage-wise, but I’m feeling OK,” Bourn said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I know it’s coming along. It feels much better than it did. I just want to make sure I’m healthy first, and then I’ll start to ramp up to where I’m starting to get back in game shape.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Nyjer Morgan tried to keep a straight face, but the smile grew wider as he talked to a group of reporters on Monday morning. The outfielder came into Indians camp on a mission to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mission accomplished.

“I wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that I’m a great player,” Morgan said. “And more than likely, I can help this organization. I worked hard this offseason. Mentally, physically, I feel really prepared. I feel that I’ve earned this spot. I’ve earned this situation.

“Hard work is what got me here, and the hard work is definitely not going to stop.”

A spot opened on Cleveland’s roster after the club determined that Michael Bourn‘s left hamstring strain would necessitate a trip to the 15-day disabled list for the center fielder to begin the season. In Morgan, the Indians have a fleet-footed outfielder capable of manning center field and affecting a game on the basepaths.

In parts of six big league seasons, the 33-year-old Morgan has hit .280 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage in stints with the Pirates, the Nationals and the Brewers. Last year, Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan, turning in a .294/.361/.434 slash line in 108 games. The Tribe signed him to a Minor League contract on Jan. 16 as a potential reserve outfielder.

“Nyjer’s had a really good camp,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s come in and done everything we could’ve asked of him in the way he’s played the game — offensively, defensively — and in the way he’s gone about his business day to day.”

Morgan — famous for an alter ego, Tony Plush, that has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past Men’s Nike Houston Texans 7 Jadeveon Clowney Elite Team Color NFL Football Jersey — maintained a low profile throughout camp with Cleveland this spring. With a new set of eyes on him, the energetic outfielder wanted to show whom he really was as a person and player.

“It was very important,” Morgan said. “Just want to leave all the other mularky behind me and basically just show the new me, the new veteran, the guy I am. Basically, I wanted to show them who Nyjer Morgan is, and not Tony Plush.”

Asked if Plush also made the Opening Day roster, Morgan laughed.

“Yeah, he made it,” Morgan said. “He’s here. I’ll know when to bring him out.”

Told of Morgan’s comment, Francona cracked a smile.

“We didn’t need to hear that,” the manager joked. “We only have room for 25, so Nyjer makes it and Tony doesn’t. He is not part of the team.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday that he would be included on the Opening Day roster. After the early-morning conversation, manager Terry Francona was even happier with that decision.

“Lonnie’s responses to us,” Francona said, “were by far the most mature, the most encouraging things we’ve heard him say since we’ve known him. That was probably the highlight of the day.”

This spring, Chisenhall has been competing for at-bats at third base with cleanup hitter Carlos Santana, who projects to open the year as a part-time third baseman and backup catcher for the Tribe. Santana’s transition to the hot corner put some addition pressure on Chisenhall, who has had inconsistent results in parts of three seasons in the Majors.

Francona is still not entirely sure how the at-bats will be divided this season at third base. Helping matters is the fact that the Indians do not have a full-time designated hitter, which is a role Chisenhall could fill on occasion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Chisenhall expressed a willingness to do whatever was asked of him this year.

“It’s part of the maturation process,” Antonetti said. “To hear Lonnie, in his own words, to say and take responsibility for being that player that has that team-first approach was really encouraging to hear.”

Chisenhall is batting .308 with two home runs, five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He added his second homer in his first at-bat of Monday’s 8-3 win against the Reds.

Francona said it would take time to sort out exactly how Chisenhall would be used this season.

“There’s some moving parts,” Francona said. “I feel confident that Lonnie is going to do everything he can when asked, to try to help us win. That’s what I’m confident in. I just think that you see a kid growing up right in front of your eyes. It’s kind of fun. It kind of feels rewarding.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As a former player, Indians manager Terry Francona understands that the day of a demotion is not always the best time for a detailed conversation — but it was just that Monday morning for prospect Trevor Bauer.

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti told Bauer he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, taking the young right-hander out of the mix for Cleveland’s final rotation spot. Bauer took the news in stride and had a productive discussion with the manager and GM.

“We kind of talked to Trevor at length this morning,” Francona said. “We asked him, ‘Are you ready to listen?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s a pretty thoughtful guy. We talked to him at length and tried to get him to understand where we view him.”

With the 23-year-old Bauer heading back to the Minors, only right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are left in the Indians’ rotation battle. Veteran Aaron Harang, who was told Sunday that he would not make the team, opted out of his Minor League contract on Monday and joined the Braves as a free agent.

The fact that Bauer remained in the running until Monday was a testament to the work he put in over the winter. Through last season and into the offseason, Bauer overhauled the mechanics of his delivery. In 16 innings between Cactus League games and Minor League games this spring, the pitcher allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits with 18 strikeouts against eight walks.

Cleveland acquired Bauer from the D-backs in the nine-player, three-team deal that also involved the Reds in December 2012.

“It was a high-profile trade,” Francona said. He goes through mechanical changes because of an injury and is trying to get back to where he was, had a lot of hiccups last year. He comes into camp really thinking he’s ready to go, because he worked so hard, and had a few more hiccups. The last two weeks, he has done everything in his power that shows us that his path is coming.

“And when it gets here, again, we want this kid to come here and stay here. So, finding consistency in what he does is very important. We have a lot of confidence in the fact that he will do that.”

Antonetti echoed Francona’s remarks.

“The one thing we’re so encouraged about,” Antonetti said, “is right now Trevor is far closer to being a very successful Major League pitcher than he was six months ago and than he was two weeks ago even. He’s on that right path.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The more Michael Bourn thought about it, the less sense it made to try to rush through his rehab in order to be in the Opening Day lineup for the Indians. On Monday, the center fielder met with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona to discuss the situation.

It was determined in that meeting that Bourn would open the regular season on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.

“I’d rather have my leg healthy and be ready to play for the long haul,” Bourn said, “than try to make it for Opening Day just because.”

Bourn, who tweaked his hamstring in a game against the Giants on March 16, has progressed only to running forward on the grass agility field at Cleveland’s complex in Arizona. The center fielder said he might test his leg on the bases as early as Tuesday but that it was subject to change.

Bourn has been able to hit and throw, but the running program has been conservative given the importance of speed to his overall game. Because of the timing of the DL stint, Antonetti said that Bourn would miss at least the first four games of the season, meaning April 5 would represent the earliest possible return date.

“As we walked through it, it just seemed like it made sense to start him on the disabled list,” Francona said. “What we want, all of our goals combined, are to have him back being Bourny. Not half of Bourny. Not part of him.

“We understand he’d play. If we asked him to, he’d play. We have no doubt about that. He’d go out there with one leg hanging off, but we need to have his speed impact our club, and so we need to let him try to build up properly so he can really help us.”

Bourn, 31, hit .263 with six home runs, 21 doubles, six triples, 50 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games last year for the Indians, who signed him to a four-year contract worth $48 million two winters ago. Bourn had surgery on his left hamstring on Oct. 15, though the team has said the current injury is unrelated.

Bourn said he planned to be smart about his current comeback.

“I don’t know percentage-wise, but I’m feeling OK,” Bourn said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I know it’s coming along. It feels much better than it did. I just want to make sure I’m healthy first, and then I’ll start to ramp up to where I’m starting to get back in game shape.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Nyjer Morgan tried to keep a straight face, but the smile grew wider as he talked to a group of reporters on Monday morning. The outfielder came into Indians camp on a mission to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mission accomplished.

“I wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that I’m a great player,” Morgan said. “And more than likely, I can help this organization. I worked hard this offseason. Mentally, physically, I feel really prepared. I feel that I’ve earned this spot. I’ve earned this situation.

“Hard work is what got me here, and the hard work is definitely not going to stop.”

A spot opened on Cleveland’s roster after the club determined that Michael Bourn‘s left hamstring strain would necessitate a trip to the 15-day disabled list for the center fielder to begin the season. In Morgan, the Indians have a fleet-footed outfielder capable of manning center field and affecting a game on the basepaths.

In parts of six big league seasons, the 33-year-old Morgan has hit .280 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage in stints with the Pirates, the Nationals and the Brewers. Last year, Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan, turning in a .294/.361/.434 slash line in 108 games. The Tribe signed him to a Minor League contract on Jan. 16 as a potential reserve outfielder.

“Nyjer’s had a really good camp,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s come in and done everything we could’ve asked of him in the way he’s played the game — offensively, defensively — and in the way he’s gone about his business day to day.”

Morgan — famous for an alter ego, Tony Plush, that has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past — maintained a low profile throughout camp with Cleveland this spring. With a new set of eyes on him, the energetic outfielder wanted to show whom he really was as a person and player.

“It was very important,” Morgan said. “Just want to leave all the other mularky behind me and basically just show the new me, the new veteran, the guy I am. Basically, I wanted to show them who Nyjer Morgan is, and not Tony Plush.”

Asked if Plush also made the Opening Day roster, Morgan laughed.

“Yeah, he made it,” Morgan said. “He’s here. I’ll know when to bring him out.”

Told of Morgan’s comment, Francona cracked a smile.

“We didn’t need to hear that,” the manager joked. “We only have room for 25, so Nyjer makes it and Tony doesn’t. He is not part of the team.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday that he would be included on the Opening Day roster. After the early-morning conversation, manager Terry Francona was even happier with that decision.

“Lonnie’s responses to us,” Francona said, “were by far the most mature, the most encouraging things we’ve heard him say since we’ve known him. That was probably the highlight of the day.”

This spring, Chisenhall has been competing for at-bats at third base with cleanup hitter Carlos Santana, who projects to open the year as a part-time third baseman and backup catcher for the Tribe. Santana’s transition to the hot corner put some addition pressure on Chisenhall, who has had inconsistent results in parts of three seasons in the Majors.

Francona is still not entirely sure how the at-bats will be divided this season at third base. Helping matters is the fact that the Indians do not have a full-time designated hitter, which is a role Chisenhall could fill on occasion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated that Chisenhall expressed a willingness to do whatever was asked of him this year.

“It’s part of the maturation process,” Antonetti said. “To hear Lonnie, in his own words, to say and take responsibility for being that player that has that team-first approach was really encouraging to hear.”

Chisenhall is batting .308 with two home runs, five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He added his second homer in his first at-bat of Monday’s 8-3 win against the Reds.

Francona said it would take time to sort out exactly how Chisenhall would be used this season.

“There’s some moving parts,” Francona said. “I feel confident that Lonnie is going to do everything he can when asked, to try to help us win. That’s what I’m confident in. I just think that you see a kid growing up right in front of your eyes. It’s kind of fun. It kind of feels rewarding.”

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As a former player, Indians manager Terry Francona understands that the day of a demotion is not always the best time for a detailed conversation — but it was just that Monday morning for prospect Trevor Bauer.

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti told Bauer he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, taking the young right-hander out of the mix for Cleveland’s final rotation spot. Bauer took the news in stride and had a productive discussion with the manager and GM.

“We kind of talked to Trevor at length this morning,” Francona said. “We asked him, ‘Are you ready to listen?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s a pretty thoughtful guy. We talked to him at length and tried to get him to understand where we view him.”

With the 23-year-old Bauer heading back to the Minors, only Jadeveon Clowney University South Carolina Jersey right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are left in the Indians’ rotation battle. Veteran Aaron Harang, who was told Sunday that he would not make the team, opted out of his Minor League contract on Monday and joined the Braves as a free agent.

The fact that Bauer remained in the running until Monday was a testament to the work he put in over the winter. Through last season and into the offseason, Bauer overhauled the mechanics of his delivery. In 16 innings between Cactus League games and Minor League games this spring, the pitcher allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits with 18 strikeouts against eight walks.

Cleveland acquired Bauer from the D-backs in the nine-player, three-team deal that also involved the Reds in December 2012.

“It was a high-profile trade,” Francona said. He goes through mechanical changes because of an injury and is trying to get back to where he was, had a lot of hiccups last year. He comes into camp really thinking he’s ready to go, because he worked so hard, and had a few more hiccups. The last two weeks, he has done everything in his power that shows us that his path is coming.

“And when it gets here, again, we want this kid to come here and stay here. So, finding consistency in what he does is very important. We have a lot of confidence in the fact that he will do that.”

Antonetti echoed Francona’s remarks.

“The one thing we’re so encouraged about,” Antonetti said, “is right now Trevor is far closer to being a very successful Major League pitcher than he was six months ago and than he was two weeks ago even. He’s on that right path.”

March madness hits Dallas early

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com

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VIDEO: Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves get past the Mavs in OT

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – In a couple weeks March Madness will descend on the Dallas area when the Final Four arrives at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

At the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, the madness has arrived early with five consecutive games that produced more wild swings than Charles Barkley on the back nine. Games against Chicago, Portland, Indiana, Boston and Minnesota featured scoreboard swings totaling some 160 points, plus 29 lead changes and 22 ties.

Despite amassing big leads in four of the games and coming all the way back from down 22 in the fifth, Dallas went 3-2 in those games.

In the first three games, Dallas built leads between 16 and 30 points, lost them all, yet managed to salvage wins against the Blazers and Pacers. The close calls prompted Dirk Nowitzki?following the Pacers win to suggest the Mavs should do themselves a favor and not get too far ahead too early. After all, losing big, early leads quickly has been something of a Dallas calling card this season: Six games in which its led by at least 16 points have ended up in the loss column.

It didn’t help when the Mavs waited until late in the third quarter to run away from the woeful Celtics and go up by 15 points. Only that lead diminished, too, in all of three minutes, but this time Dallas never lost the lead — it got down to one point — and survived in the final seconds for the win.

On Wednesday, the Timberwolves turned the tables from the previous blueprint by being the ones to jump out early. They went ahead 37-24 in the first quarter and busted it open by 22 points early in the second quarter. Buried? Not exactly. Dallas stormed back to within six at halftime, nearly won it in regulation, led by five in overtime, but then couldn’t close it out. Nowitzki put Dallas up one, Kevin Love answered for the lead with 17.1 seconds to go and then Nowitzki’s last chance didn’t fall in the final seconds.

“It becomes a game of Russian roulette, whether you can make the last shot or not,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.

For a team clinging to the edge of the playoffs, it’s a dangerous way to live.

The madness might be only just beginning as Dallas plays the third game of its franchise-long eight-game homestand Friday night against unpredictable Denver. But first, a look back at the zany last five:

Feb. 28: Bulls 100, Mavs 91

Biggest leads: Mavs 16 (38-22, 10:17, 2nd); Bulls 9 (100-91)

What happened: Joakim Noah physically dominated Dallas in the fourth quarter. The Bulls won the period, 27-15, after trailing the entire first half and leading by just one point in the third quarter.

March 7: Mavs 103, Trail Blazers 98

Biggest leads: Mavs 30 (44-14, 8:31, 2nd); Blazers 7 (89-82, 8:36, 4th)

What happened:?Dallas led 33-10 after the first quarter, but after the lead swelled to 40-10, Portland went ?on a 79-42 run, and then led 98-92 with 4:26 to go. One of the most improbable comebacks ever was halted as the Mavs mustered the energy to end the game by scoring the final 11 points.

March 9: Mavs 105, Pacers 94

Biggest leads: Mavs 17 (35-18, 9:53, 2nd); Pacers 5 (55-50, 8:58, 3rd)

What happened:?The Pacers got it down to 48-45 at halftime and came out strong in the third quarter to grab a 55-50 lead. Then things reversed again with Dallas going ahead 73-62. Indiana made it 94-90, but Dallas closed it out with an 11-4 run.

March 17: Mavs 94, Celtics 89

Biggest leads: Mavs 15 (64-49, 4:19, 3rd); Celtics 4 (37-33, 7:26, 2nd)

What happened: Boston scored six points in the first eight minutes of the third period as Dallas opened up its largest margin, only to lose it on a 12-0 Boston run to close the quarter. The Mavs went back up by 12, 78-66, with 6:25 left. With 21.6 seconds left, Dallas’ lead was down to 90-89, but a couple free throws and a defensive stop saved the Mavs from an embarrassing loss.

March 19: Timberwolves 123, Mavs 122 (OT)

Biggest leads: Timberwolves 22 (50-28); Mavs 5 (120-115, 3:03, OT)

What happened: Neither one of these teams is very good at holding leads and, well, that proved out. Dallas demolished a 22-point deficit and got to within six at halftime, only to fall behind 107-94 with 6:48 to go in the game. Monta Ellis outscored Minnesota 12-2 to give Dallas a 113-111 lead, but the defense failed and the game went to overtime. Dallas had it until it managed one field goal in the final 3:03 and got outscored 8-2.

Award races head into stretch run

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

Four weeks from today the regular season is over. All eyes will be on the playoffs. And that means the final push is on for the 2013-14 awards.

The duel for MVP honors has been a match race all season between Kevin Durant and LeBron James.?Michael Carter-Williams jumped out of the pack early as the one to beat for Rookie of the Year. But the other races have been wide open.

Here’s one man’s view as we head into the home stretch:

Most Improved Player

Anthony Davis, Pelicans — This is why the Pelicans were so happy to make him the No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft. This is what coach Monty Williams says Davis probably could have shown last season if the coach hadn’t kept a tight rein on his prized rookie, limiting his minutes and his exposure to getting overpowered while he built up his slender body. When Davis erupted for 40 points, 21 rebounds, three assists and three steals against the Celtics, it was the culmination of a spectacular sophomore year. He’s been steady and breathtaking at both ends of the court all season, enough to beat out the likes of worthy candidates Goran Dragic and Lance Stephenson in a crowded field of contenders. Also getting votes: DeAndre Jordan, Trevor Ariza.

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VIDEO: Anthony Davis was nominated for Kia Player of the Month for March

Sixth Man of the Year

Manu Ginobili, Spurs – Following an injury-plagued 2012-13 season that saw him enter the playoffs last spring looking bedraggled, the player who puts the jolt into the Spurs attack is back playing like a live wire in his 12th season. His field-goal percentage is up and his he’s back to doing all the things at both ends of the floor that make him a disruptive force and a difference maker. Jamal Crawford is the closest contender and has done many of the same things for the Clippers. The deciding factor has to be overall team performance. L.A. is in the top half of the Western Conference standings, but that’s once again the Spurs at the top. The return of Manu to his old form is a prime reason. Also getting votes: Reggie Jackson, Markieff Morris.

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VIDEO: Manu Ginobili talks about the Spurs’ season and his play

Rookie of the Year

Michael Carter-Williams, Sixers — He was the sixth guard selected (11th overall) in 2013 and wasted no time showing he never should have lasted that long. He’s put up big numbers even as the Sixers have suffered through what is a historically inept season. If all of general manager?Sam Hinkie’s?decisions turn out so well, the pain will be worth the price. The fun could just be starting when MCW gets to team up with a healthy Nerlens Noel next season. It’s a long way back to the No. 2 man in the voting for this category, but we’re jumping the more likely pick and going with Tim Hardaway Jr. His hard-charging style has been one of the few reasons to watch the Knicks all year. Also getting votes: Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke. Kia Rookie Ladder

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VIDEO: At the All-Star break, Michael Carter-Williams talks about his season

Defensive Player of the Year

Joakim Noah, Bulls — The Pacers spent the early part of the year polishing their reputation as the league’s top defensive team, with center Roy Hibbert?starting to clear room on his mantle as the pre-eminent rim protector in the game. But it is no coincidence that the Pacers’ struggles fit with a slippage in Hibbert’s game. The truth is, when you get him just a little bit away from the basket, he’s not so dominant. Meanwhile the Bulls have shrugged off the loss of Derrick Rose and Luol Deng because Noah simply won’t let them stop working and scrapping and competing. He’s the heart and soul of the team, especially that ferocious defense as Chicago charges late and the Pacers try to regain their equilibrium. Also getting votes: Serge Ibaka, Dwight Howard.

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VIDEO: Rachel Nichols talks with Joakim Noah about his surge in play of late

Coach of the Year

Gregg Popovich, Spurs — The first instinct is to say that Jeff Hornacek has taken a Suns team that everyone assumed was diving for the lottery — and the Las Vegas wise guys had pegged for 21.5 wins — and turned them into an uplifting story and playoff contender, and that’s worthy of consideration. The next instinct is to say that Tom Thibodeau is like the Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, virtually getting limbs chopped off and yet ignoring the wounds and keeping right on with the fight. But when you get right down to the meat of things, it’s all about winning games and some how, some way, Popovich keeps doing that better than anybody else. Never mind that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are practically senior citizens. Never mind that an assortment of injuries has forced the Spurs to use two dozen different lineups. Never mind all of those lingering mental scars from The Finals last June. Popovich expects the best and his team keeps producing it. Excellence should be recognized and rewarded. Also getting votes: Frank Vogel, Dwane Casey, Steve Clifford.

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VIDEO: GameTime delves into how deeply Gregg Popovich’s influence is felt around the NBA

Most Valuable Player

Kevin Durant, Thunder — It’s been a two-horse race between Durant and LeBron James almost from the opening tip. You can almost never go wrong picking James, who still reigns as the league’s best player with his ability. It looked like James might be making a late charge for an MVP three-peat with his 61 point game a couple of weeks ago. But an ensuing slump by both LeBron and the Heat took the steam out of that charge. Durant responded and has raised his game even higher over the past 1 1/2 weeks. We also have to go back to Durant’s body of work without Russell Westbrook for 30 games — and counting — as he keeps the Thunder in the hunt for best overall record and heads toward what should be the first of multiple MVP wins. Also getting votes: Joakim Noah, Blake Griffin. Kia Race to the MVP Ladder

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VIDEO: Chris Webber and Greg Anthony debate and discuss the MVP race

Phil Jackson tension good for Knicks

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com


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VIDEO: Knicks fans give new team president Phil Jackson a standing ovation

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS –?The standing ovation was a given.

The hero’s welcome from that wild Madison Square Garden crowd on hand for the first official game of the Phil Jackson era was right off the pages of the script of a Broadway production. And the Knicks nailed the ending, knocking off the Eastern Conference leading (and reeling) Indiana Pacers to punctuate the night.

The Knicks have won seven straight and are giving legitimate chase for that eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, a last-dtich effort to put a little lipstick on a season gone awry. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they heated up around the time the Jackson rumors cranked up.

That same energy that was in the building last night is the same type of energy that fuels seasons in the NBA. A healthy dose of tension, the good kind that puts everyone on alert and drives a lackluster or average effort into an elevated state, can work for all involved. Think of it as the Knicks’ very own version of March Madness. If they can keep it going long enough, maybe they can find their way into the playoffs (something the new boss has mentioned repeatedly) against all odds.

Carmelo Anthony has played this way all season. He’s been relentless, even while some others wearing Knicks uniforms have not been on that same page, so to speak. He was relentless last night, as Knicks coach Mike Woodson found out during one timeout. Phil’s presence gives the rest of the Knicks, coaches and players alike, something to play for the rest of this season. Intended or not, his arrival gives this team a rallying point that can be used in whatever way is needed.

Watching Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. and even J.R. Smith all crank it up to that next level with Anthony shows us that the Knicks have had it in them all along.

If you listen to the men who have had the ultimate success with Jackson, this is what they insist he will bring to the Knicks. A championship-level attitude and energy might well be worth the $12 million a year Knicks owner James Dolan is reportedly paying the Zen master for his presence.

Kobe Bryant certainly believes it to be true. He told the “Dan Patrick Show” yesterday that the entire Knicks roster is in store for a type of wisdom they haven’t been privy to before Jackson’s arrival. And yes, Bryant thinks Jackson can do it from the president’s perch instead of the coaching fox hole:

“I just think his mentorship shifts,” Bryant said. “I think it goes from having a direct influence on the players themselves to having a direct influence on the coaching staff, which he’s accustomed to doing because that’s how he coached as well.

“He really had a great rapport with his coaching staff and he was really a great mentor for them, and I’m sure he’ll do the same thing and it will just kind of trickle down from there. It’s really no different from what Pat [Riley] has been able to do in Miami with [Erik] Spoelstra.”

There’s no need to go there right now with the Riley and Jackson comparisons. Riley has accomplished far more as an executive and it’s an unreasonable measurement at this stage of the game.

What should resonate, though, is the staunch support Jackson is receiving from all corners of the basketball establishment. You expect it from his former players. But I’ve spoken with several of his new competitors, executives who have every reason to root against him, that think his presence alone changes the game in New York.

“People talk all the time about changing the culture and reshaping a franchise,” a Western Conference assistant general manager told me, “but they don’t come through the door and command the respect of the people within the organization. And I mean the secretaries, the training staff, the folks in the ticket office as well as the coaches and players. Phil doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s got everyone’s attention. It’s his show now.”

Indeed it is. And if the first impression means anything, it’s going to be a wild ride for the Knicks and their fans.

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VIDEO: Carmelo Anthony talks about the Knicks’ streak and Phil Jackson’s potential impact

Chapman Adrian Peterson Jersey for Kids incident puts focus back on safety

For all the precautionary moves baseball has taken to protect the well-being of its players, one danger that has not been eliminated is the one presented by the line drive hit back at the pitcher.Adrian Peterson Jersey Youth

Wednesday night at Surprise Stadium, that danger was demonstrated all too clearly when Aroldis  Adrian Peterson Jersey for Kids Chapman, closer for the Cincinnati Reds, was struck in the forehead by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez.

Chapman fell to the ground, both hands covering his face. He remained largely motionless for several minutes, while emergency medical personnel treated him. He was eventually removed from the field on a cart and was taken to a hospital.

The Reds said Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson Infant Jersey Chapman was taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City, where tests indicated fractures above his left eye and nose. He was transferred to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, where he will undergo further testing. He will be kept overnight for observation.

“He was able to communicate and move his hands and legs,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to go any further than that. But it got him pretty flush, just above the left eye, is what it looks like.”

The play occurred in the bottom of the sixth, on an 0-2 pitch, with the Reds leading, 6-3. The velocity of the pitch, as indicated on the scoreboard, was 99 mph. Perez hit the pitch solidly. The sound the ball made striking Adrian Peterson Jersey for Sale Chapman’s head was both frightening and audible throughout the park.

After Chapman was taken from the field, the managers of the two teams and the umpiring crew huddled and decided to halt the game. It was the correct decision, a decision that was respectful of both Chapman’s injury, and the potential seriousness of the situation.

“You just can’t find it in your heart to go out there and play,” Price said. “Baseball is a game to be played with a lot of joy in your heart and determination and focus. And I don’t think anybody was able to do that after that moment.”

Major League Adrian Peterson Women’s Jersey Baseball approved a padded cap designed to help protect pitchers from potentially dangerous line drives in January, and made them available on a voluntary basis in Spring Training. Reaction by pitchers to the use of the approved headgear, which may not have helped in Chapman’s case, has been mixed so far.

Reds Adrian Peterson NFL Football Uniform right fielder Jay Bruce called the incident: “The most frightening thing I’ve ever been a part of. I mean, as hard as he throws and as hard as that ball was hit off the bat, I just hope for the best.

“There’s not really words to explain how everyone is feeling right now. It’s terrible. It really is. It’s dangerous. Baseball aside, this is people’s lives you’re talking about. This is dangerous. This is something that is so unfortunate. You don’t want to see it happen to anyone.”

2014 Men’s Nike Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson Elite Team Color Jersey And yet, it happened Wednesday night in a Cactus League game to one of the game’s most dominant closers. It was a reminder of one part of the game where real danger cannot be legislated out of existence.

“I know this isn’t quite as uncommon as we’d like it to be,” Adrian Peterson Football Merchandise Price said of the incident. “But if was frightening, certainly a frightening moment.”