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Indians vs. Rockies: Pregame blog: Johnson, Pestano make team

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 22, 2014

The Indians told reliever Vinnie Pestano and infielder/outfielder Elliot Johnson they have made the 25-man roster Saturday morning.

Outfielder Jeff Francoeur was released from his minor league contract, making him a free agent, outfielder Matt Carson is headed to Triple-A Columbus and catcher Matt Treanor will open on the Triple-A disabled list.

Manager Terry Francona said he was intrigued to see if Pestano could return to form after a terrible 2013, when he was demoted to Triple-A Columbus.

"This is a guy who's carried a heavy load the first couple years of his career; last year we talked about what happened," Francona said of Pestano. "Trying to get Vinnie back to a guy that can help us win games, that will be really helpful."

Asked what he liked about Johnson,Francona said, "I come back to one of the things he said to you guys, he wanted to earn trust at every position. He really did that. It's easy when guys are getting hits to talk about them. He compliments our roster very well. We have he and (Mike) Aviles that we're really comfortable moving all over the field, in Elliot's case a guy who can pinch-run, he's a switch hitter and he can play all the positions and play them well. That makes your 25-man roster a little bit bigger." 

The Tribe also talked to third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and outfielder Nyjer Morgan, but told them their fates had not been decided.

"Lonnie has had a pretty good camp offensively. There's been a couple mishaps at third, that's a small sample size,"  Francona said. "It's been a little trying for everybody. A kid's trying to make a club, he's still young, we have (Carlos) Santana over there, we're trying to balance a lot of things."

Asked if Chisenhall could be a candidate for designated hitter, especially with Jason Giambi expected to miss Opening Day with a fractured rib, Francona said, "I don't think we would want Lonnie to not play. That doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to anybody. If there's development left for Lonnie, it wouldn't be sitting the bench. DH'ing Lonnie twice a week wouldn't be real helpful."

Francona said Morgan has had a great camp.

"It's funny because I think his concern was the perception that he can be disrepectful. I would say he's been anything but that," Francona said of Morgan. "Model citizen, enthusiastic, polite, there's nothing he has done that we haven't enjoyed. But we also told him that we don't know the makeup of our team yet."

Francona said the team would be more than willing to help Francoeur find another job. Francoeur shook hands with reporters in the clubhouse after learning the news.

"We'd probably do whatever we could," Francona said of Francoeur. "You let the dust settle, let him take a deep breath. I think he's very aware that if he needed somebody to speak on his behalf Chris and I would probably jump at the opportunity. He made quite an impact on our team in a spring training setting, which is not easy to do. It was one of the more difficult conversations Chris and I both had."

Treanor's roster fate was decided after suffering a left hamstring strain Wednesday that will sideline him for two to three weeks.

Game: 4:05 p.m. at Goodyear Ballpark

ROCKIES

Corey Dickerson CF

Drew Stubbs RF

Carlos Gonzalez LF

Nolan Arenado 3B

Justin Morneau 1B

Josh Rutledge 2B

Ryan Wheeler DH

Jordan Pacheco C

Paul Janish SS

Jordan Lyles P

INDIANS

Asdrubal Cabrera SS

Nick Swisher 1B

Jason Kipnis 2B

Carlos Santana DH

Michael Brantley LF

Lonnie Chisenhall 3B

Yan Gomes C

Mike Aviles CF

Elliot Johnson RF

Corey Kluber P

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