SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.: Today is the day the Indians' phenoms return to work on the minor-league back lots.
Seven of the Tribe's most promising farmhands, who had no chance of making the team in spring training, were reassigned. Catcher Carlos Santana, the top prospect in the organization, right-handers Jeanmar Gomez and Hector Rondon plus injured outfielder Jordan Brown were optioned to Columbus to continue their Triple-A careers.
Middle infielder Carlos Rivero, outfielder Nick Weglarz and first baseman Beau Mills returned to the minor-league camp and will be assigned to teams later.
Santana might not stay in Triple-A for more than half a season, depending on how his skills at handling a staff and calling a game progress. Brown probably will return to the field in four to six weeks after recuperating from a knee injury.
In one other move, infielder Brian Bixler cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Columbus. Bixler was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for middle infielder Anderson Hernandez, who was claimed on waivers from the Mets. Hernandez, who will compete for a utility job, started in the Tribe's split squad game against the Rangers today.