Expected 25 Man Roster (3/9/14)

For the first edition of the 25 man roster from the beginning of Spring Training, click here. From now on, players who have won their position will be listed in blue with no further remarks. New players are listed in green.

Infield
C: Yan Gomes (1)

Other Options: Carlos Santana
The starter for this position will be determined as soon as the starters at third base and DH have been determined. Most likely all involved parties will make the 25 man roster, so the exact positioning is essentially arbitrary.

1B: Nick Swisher (2)
2B: Jason Kipnis (3)
Carlos Santana & Lonnie Chisenhall 3B: Lonnie Chisenhall (4)
Options: Mike Aviles, Santana, Ryan Rohlinger, Ramirez or David Adams
Santana has received almost all the playing time at third this Spring, but that shouldn't be taken as a fact that he will be the starter. Chisenhall has already proven what he can do (.943 FLD%), so the Indians are just checking out Santana. If the third baseman turned catcher can prove himself at the position (he hasn't yet), then his attempt to move Chisenhall out of the starting role can be taken more seriously.

SS: Asdrubal Cabrera (5)
Options: Aviles, Ramirez or Francisco Lindor
Since Cabrera is a lock for this job unless he is traded (which is unlikely), this space will be used to talk about Ramirez. After starting the Spring late after injuring his thumb during Winter ball, he has since sprained his ankle running on a treadmill. He is now day-to-day and severely hurting his chances to make the team out of camp in what looks to be a very tough competition for the final two offensive spots. 

DH: Carlos Santana (6)
Options: Jason Giambi, Chisenhall, Jesus Aguilar, Ryan Raburn, Jeff Francoeur or David Murphy
This position is still waiting on the results of the third base winner. Anyone other than Chisenhall taking that job would really shake things up down the line.


Corner Infield: Mike Aviles (7)
Options: Raburn or Chisenhall
Aviles will make the team, but uncertainty in the infield is keeping this particular job from being definite. For instance, if Aviles is the starting third baseman with Santana at DH, then Chisenhall could stay on as corner infielder. This doesn't particularly matter as Aviles will likely start more often than an average utility man.

C2/Middle Infield/PH/PR: Jose Ramirez (8)
Options: Matt Treanor, Chun Chen, Chris Wallace, Roberto Perez, Jake Lowery, Tony Wolters, Luke Carlin, Lindor, Erik Gonzalez, Ryan Rohlinger, Adams, Aguilar, Bryan LaHair, Elliot Johnson, Justin Sellers, Matt Carson, Nyjer Morgan, Jeff Francoeur, Carlos Moncrief, Tyler Naquin, Joe Wendle, Tim Fedroff, David Cooper or any player listed as corner infield, DH or outfield.

The Indians made an under the radar "trade" with the Dodgers this week, essentially buying Justin Sellers from Los Angeles. Sellers has played in 82 games over the past three years in LA and batted a tremendous .199. There is essentially 0% chance he will make the team, but he will provide more depth at this position assuming Rohlinger, Adams, Ramirez and Johnson don't work out. To make the move, the Indians designated David Cooper, but he cleared waivers and is back in camp as a non-roster invitee. These are exciting times for the Indians when a 27 year old with a past severe neck injury is dropped to make room for a 28 year old with a -0.2 WAR.

Outfield
LF: Michael Brantley (9)

CF: Michael Bourn (10)
RF: David Murphy (11)
Options: Raburn, Aviles, Carson, Jeff Francoeur or Morgan
Due to contractual obligations, Murphy should make the team, even if he is outplayed this Spring by Francoeur or Morgan. With that in mind the three other main competitors for this role (and Carlos Moncrief) have been receiving far more playing time. Much like in the case of Santana playing third, this is more to see if these other options have anything to add than seeing if they can win the starting job.

OF4: Ryan Raburn (12)
Options: Aviles, Carson, Murphy, Francoeur or Morgan
Raburn will make the team in some capacity, but the Indians use of Nyjer Morgan early on shows that they are very interested in what he can still do. Depending on the results of the Chisenhall/Santana situation, Raburn could be used more as a DH or general utility player with Morgan as the fourth outfielder. Morgan has already proven he still has the glove and speed to make it, but he will have to step it up at the plate or someone like Francoeur or Elliot Johnson.

Carlos Carrasco1 Starting Rotation
Ace: Justin Masterson (13)
SP2: Corey Kluber (14)
Options: Salazar, Zach McAllister
Kluber, Salazar and McAllister have been announced as the middle of the rotation, but the exact order is unknown.

SP3: Danny Salazar (15)
SP4: Zach McAllister (16)
SP5: Carlos Carrasco (17)
Options: Shawn Marcum, Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer, Aaron Harang, Kyle Davies or the previous three starters.
It is hard to see anything real from starters when they are only pitching two to three innings at a time, but most of the competitors (except Davies and Marcum) have seen time in Major League games already this Spring. To this point Bauer (3.60 ERA, 5 IP) and Carrasco (1.29 ERA, 7 IP, 9Ks) have been the most successful, but the rotation as a whole has been so far. As a team, the Indians not only have the best Spring Training record in all of baseball at 8-1-1, but also have the best ERA at 2.77.

Bullpen
CP: John Axford (18)
SU1: Cody Allen (19)

SU2: Bryan Shaw (20)
LHRP: Josh Outman (21)
Options: Marc Rzepczynski, Scott Barnes, Nick Hagadone or Mike Zagurksi
The Indians have essentially announced that they will be carrying at least two left handed relievers, one of whom will be Rzepczynski. Outman has the fast track on the other spot after a solid 2013 (against left handed hitters), especially considering the struggles Barnes and Hagadone had last year.

RHRP: Preston Guilmet (22)
Options: The rest of the bullpen options will be listed in the "Bullpen 7" position.
With so many relievers in camp, the leader for this spot could change every day, but as of right now Guilmet has been the most impressive. He has thrown two innings without allowing a run and striking out two, showing the lack of significant results from anyone as much as his own ability. With such a veteran presence throughout the rest of the bullpen, this would be a good place to use one of the younger phenoms. Of the other competitors for this role, Tyler Cloyd, Scott Atchison, Austin Adams, Vinnie Pestano and Bryan Price also have a clean ERA with at least two innings through this point in camp.

BP6: Marc Rzepczynski (23)
BP7: Vinnie Pestano (24)
Options: C.C. Lee, Matt Capps, Colt Hynes, Preston Guilmet, Frank Herrmann, T.J. House, Blake Wood, Bryan Price, Austin Adams, JC Ramirez, Tyler Cloyd, Tyler Sturdevant, Giovanni Soto, Jose Flores, Cody Anderson, Scott Atchison, David Aardsma, Leandro Linares, Davies, Travis Banwart or any other pitcher listed on this page or in the Indians upper minor league system.

This should be Pestano's spot to lose and he hasn't lost it yet. In two appearances, he is yet to allow a baserunner and hasn't had to deal with the pain that cost him a large chunk of the 2013 season. If the job doesn't go to Pestano, keep an eye on Aardsma, who was a late addition to camp. He has an advantage over Barnes and Hagadone as he is right handed (and the Indians are already slated to carry two LHP), and over Guilmet, House and Lee as he is a veteran. He got off to a slow start in actual game action, however, so he will need an excellent final two weeks of camp to make up for it. 

Long Relief/Extra Bat: Nyjer Morgan (25)
Options: Any player listed as an option anywhere who doesn't make the team in some other capacity.
The Indians have an incredible amount of options for this final spot and it will likely be the final spot decided this Spring. Finally, after more than a weeks worth of games, we can get an idea of which players are being seriously considered for the role. Rather than having to worry about the almost 50 players who will not make the team, we can now focus on the few that are on the edge. David Adams, Matt Carson, Jeff Francoeur, Elliot Johnson and Morgan have all received more at bats than most of the known starters, largely because the Indians want as accurate analysis as possible.

For a real dark horse, keep an eye on Elliot Johnson, who has played in six of the Indians nine games and leads the team in at bats. He has played at second base, short stop and right field and could also play third if any playing time became available. In this limited time, he is currently batting .375 with two doubles and a home run, leading to a team high five RBI. Even though he is still a long shot, so was Ryan Raburn at this point last year and a similar looking Spring turned into something pretty special for both him and the Indians.

As far as pitchers are concerned, both Tomlin and Carrasco are still in the running, but they have been good enough to possibly win the fifth starter role outright. If both of these pitchers don't make the team in some capacity, the top options for the back end of the bullpen could make it on the team using this spot.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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