ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.: After playing the first six games of the season on artificial turf, the Indians will see nothing but grass for the rest of the season.
Although the modern version of plastic grass is nowhere near as taxing on players’ knees and ankles, most managers are happier not to have to deal with the fake stuff. However, it’s not a big deal to Indians manager Terry Francona.
“This is not like the old stuff,” he said. “It’s fine. If those guys can play football on it, we can play baseball.”
Francona’s attitude is a little different if one of his players complains.
“There are all kinds of things to worry about,” he said. “That can be one of them if it bothers a player to play on it.”
NICE TRY — The Tribe’s plan to carry eight relievers for the first two or three weeks of the season is dead.
With 21 games in the first 22 days, it could have been beneficial to bulk up the bullpen, but Scott Kazmir’s injury foiled the plan.
“I’d love to do it,” Francona said. “But I don’t know how to do it [now]. I’d like to have nine guys out there.”
JUMPING THE GUN — It wasn’t clear whether Kazmir was going to be placed on the disabled list immediately. Turns out he wasn’t.
The move won’t officially be made until today, when Trevor Bauer has to be added to the roster make tonight’s start. Regardless of when Kazmir goes on the DL, the day will be backdated to Tuesday.
FARM FACTS — Jeremy Hermida hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to give Columbus a 4-0 win over Indianapolis in Class AAA. Yan Gomes doubled and singled, and Tim Fedroff had two singles. Joe Martinez gave up three hits in 5⅔ innings, and Nick Hagadone struck out the side in his only inning.
— Sheldon Ocker