This is the final 25 man roster going into the 2014 season. Changes from the most recent update are listed in green. Recently removed players are listed on the bottom of the article in red. To follow the creation of the roster from over 70 players in Major League camp down to 25, just search for "Expected 25 Man Roster" on the right side of the home page.
C: Yan Gomes (1)
1B: Nick Swisher (2)
2B: Jason Kipnis (3)
3B: Carlos Santana (4)
For some illogical reason, Santana, who has only been playing third base for a few months, has been named the regular starter over Chisenhall. Both will still play on a regular basis, but, simply because Santana didn't want to DH, the inferior defender will be playing the field the majority of the time. Santana will also be the reserve catcher, so Chisenhall, Aviles or Johnsons will have to take over the hot corner on those days.
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera (5)
DH: Lonnie Chisenhall (6)
With Jason Giambi starting the season on the Major League DL, Chisenhall is the only candidate for the starting DH role. Lonnie, however, won't play every day even from the start as the position will be used to give days off to players like Swisher, Gomes and to get Raburn and Aviles in the lineup on a more regular basis. What is scary is if Giambi takes over at bats from Chisenhall once he is healed. Chisenhall may have struggled in 2013, but he still out hit (.225 to .183) and out slugged (.398 to .371) the former PED abusing veteran. Considering their ages, there is a very likely chance of that gap increasing in 2014.
Corner Infield: Mike Aviles (7)
Super Utility Man: Elliot Johnson (8)
Johnson was added to the 40 man roster on 3/22 for the cost of David Adams, who was released and signed by Baltimore. While it already looked like he could make the team due to his outstanding Spring, he likely won the competition in the end because of the Michael Bourn injury. Unlike the other competitors, like Matt Carson, Jeff Francoeur and David Cooper, Johnson is not relegated simply to the infield or outfield, but can play both with equal aplomb.
LF: Michael Brantley (9)
CF: Nyjer Morgan (10)
Thanks to an injury to Michael Bourn's hamstring, Bourn-light was able to make the squad. Like Bourn, Morgan is an above average defender with the glove, but has a below average arm. He was one of the most used players this Spring as the Indians gave him every chance to make the club and he still only batted .219, largely against minor league pitching in late innings. Despite being vastly outplayed by some of his competitors like Jeff Francoeur (.286/.359/.429), Morgan was chosen as he is the only true center fielder among the group. Picking him to make the squad likely means that Brantley will not be used as the regular starter in center, but will stay in right unless there's an emergency
RF: David Murphy (11)
OF4: Ryan Raburn (12)
Ace: Justin Masterson (13)
SP2: Corey Kluber (14)
SP3: Zach McAllister (15)
SP4: Danny Salazar (17)
SP5: Carlos Carrasco (16)
It was already known that Carrasco's lack of options would force him onto the roster, but to somewhat of a surprise, he has been named as the fourth starter in the rotation on Wednesday. Carrasco pitched in five games this Spring and was great in four outings, but a poor outing on the 19th destroyed his stats for the entire month. As the last man in, Carrasco would likely be the first man out as well. Josh Tomlin has been sent to AAA as well as Trevor Bauer, two of the other original competitors for this role and will be ready at any point to rejoin the Major League squad.
CP: John Axford (18)
SU1: Cody Allen (19)
SU2: Bryan Shaw (20)
LHRP: Marc Rzepczynski (21)
RHRP: Vinnie Pestano (22)
Pestano was named to the bullpen on Saturday, but had likely been slated for a spot long before, with the Indians just being wary of injury or complete implosion. While he is one of the eight relievers that will be heading to Oakland after leaving Goodyear, that doesn't mean he has his old role back. Allen and Shaw will be taking most of the tough situations late in games with Zep matching up against lefties. Pestano will likely have to prove himself over a few months before he is trusted regularly with late inning, hold or save situations.
BP6: Josh Outman (23)
BP7: Scott Atchison (24)
Atchison will immediately become a veteran presence in the pen, bringing 15 years of professional experience to the Tribe. Two years ago, he had an exemplary season with the Red Sox (1.58 ERA in 51.1 IP) and has again put up impressive numbers this Spring, at the age of 38. He has allowed just two runs in eight innings with eight strike outs to this point. He will likely be used in a similar role as Matt Albers was in 2013.
BP8: Blake Wood (25)
Wood was the final man added to the bullpen today and deservedly so. He was originally grabbed off waivers from the Royals at the end of 2012 and spent all of 2013 rehabbing after elbow surgery. He made it back in time to become a September call-up last season when he threw 1.1 scoreless innings during the Indians play-off run. This Spring, he has continued his success, throwing 9.2 innings while allowing just a single run. It may take a little while for him to prove himself, but as the only member of the Tribe bullpen who can break 100 MPH on the radar gun, it shouldn't take much success to push him closer to the back-end of the bullpen.
15 Day DL
Michael Bourn (Pulled Hamstring)
Jason Giambi (Broken Ribs)
Shaun Marcum (Recovery from Surgery in 2013)
Released: Jeff Francoeur and Aaron Harang
Optioned to AAA: Matt Carson, Justin Sellers, Trevor Bauer, C.C. Lee and Josh Tomlin
Re-assigned to MiLB Camp: David Cooper, Bryan LaHair, Luke Carlin, Kyle Davies and Matt Capps