It was a fairly quiet day at the Indians spring training headquarters in Goodyear, Arizona, Wednesday. Aside from the team adding to its ever-growing, low-risk, high-upside stock in veteran pitcher Kyle Davies (minor league contract), second-year manager Terry Francona and his coaches wrapped up the last of pre-spring training individual meetings. Meanwhile, players who reported to camp Tuesday but hadn’t had a chance to complete their pre-season physicals did so after some brief morning work.
A day after pitchers and catchers were to report to spring training, minor league catcher Roberto Perez was the only player who hadnt arrived. However, the Puerto Rican native is expected to arrive sometime Wednesday evening after just wrapping up play in the Caribbean World Series.
As for the Tribe’s position players, they are scheduled to report Saturday. Minor leaguers who were not invited to big league camp will descend on the complex in droves Feb. 25.
While spring training games are still two weeks away, camp officially gets underway today with the first scheduled workout beginning at 9:30 a.m. after meetings and a team stretch session.
In addition to the first workout of camp beginning Thursday, the team is holding an afternoon press conference with Michael Brantley and general manager Chris Antonetti to officially announce the left fielder’s four-year, $25 million contract that was reached recently to avoid arbitration.
Before I turn in for a whole five hours of sleep (this being spring training, things get rolling out at the complex by 8 a.m. sharp - much to the dislike of this night owl and longtime non-morning person) here are three observations from my first day of camp that may (or very well may not be) important:
1) All day long it seemed like delivery people and trucks full of various goods came and went. But what randomly garnered my attention ocurred just before noon when a huge Roadway 16-wheeler truck slowly manuvered through the complex – stock full of nothing but boxes of sunflower seeds.
Made me wonder what the average number of seeds consumed per player would be this spring. But being allergic to such complicated math, I quickly decided to not even bother to go there and settled instead for a much simpler answer: a lot.
2) Francona meet with Carlos Santana for a second consecutive day Wednesday regarding how much third base the former Indians fulltime catcher would take on during camp. Francona said communication would be key in determining such.
“Communication is going to be huge going through this to make sure it works for everybody,” Francona said.
Therefore, the meeting took longer than most, and was “done in two languages.” In the end, the pair agreed Santana would start camp by catching the first few days before joining the mix at third base.
3) Just before 2 p.m., a familiar face in former Tribe pitcher Rafael Perez surprised a handful of people when he sauntered through the doors of the complex, as no one seemed to know what the Tribe’s former left-handed reliever was doing here.
A quick internet search found that Perez signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers last month that included an invitation to big league camp located in nearby Surprise, Ariz.
Perez, 31, spent last season pitching in the minors for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, combining to post a 3-2 record with six saves and a 2.60 ERA over 29 relief appearances with Triple-A Rochester and Double-A Portland.
Perez hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since undergoing left shoulder surgery in September of 2012. Prior to that, he owned a 21-12 record with three saves and a 3.64 ERA over 338 career appearances with the Indians (2006-2012).