Phoenix: Yandy Diaz stood just outside of Indians manager Terry Francona’s office, tossing his lip balm off the wall, waiting to have one of the bigger meetings of his life.

He’d either head to Texas to begin the season on the major league roster or head back to Columbus to open the year in Triple-A. He said later he was “super nervous.” Over and over, he tossed his lip balm against the wall, waiting to have his meeting with Francona.

The news was good. Diaz had made the team. He walked out of the office, calm and smiling. No need for the nervous habit anymore.

“I can’t even tell you. I’m so happy,” Diaz said. “This is my first time playing in the big leagues. I think about all the sacrifices I’ve made over the past four years to make it here. I don’t even know what to say, just thank God I’m here.”

Diaz, 25, essentially forced the Indians’ hand with a torrid spring offensively. Entering Thursday’s game, he was hitting .429 with two home runs, four doubles and 13 RBI. He’s been arguably the best hitter this spring in Indians camp. After knocking on the door to be called up near the end of last season, Diaz continued to apply pressure this spring. The question was his defense at third base.

Diaz spent most of last season trying to transition to the outfield. This spring, with an opening available with Jason Kipnis heading to the disabled list for the first 2-3 weeks of the season, Diaz was moved back to third base. Francona earlier this spring tabbed Diaz’s performance at third base as a “work in progress.” It wasn’t an indictment, only an acknowledgement that he had work to do to get ready for Opening Day.

Now, Diaz is the likely starter at third base with Jose Ramirez sliding to second base during Kipnis’ stint on the disabled list.

“His spring training was terrific,” Francona said. “I think we all agree. We’ve all seen guys that have hit in spring training, but you look at Yandy’s last year, too. At the end of last year, we were trying to figure out a place for his bat. That’s why he was going to the outfield. So, this isn’t a kid that’s just got 45 at-bats and has never hit. He’s been a good hitter and he’s becoming a better hitter.”

Michael Martinez was also told he’d be making the roster on Thursday. Martinez is a known commodity for Francona who will act as the utility infielder. Francona has previously applauded Martinez’s versatility, defensive ability and speed off the bench. In part, Martinez is making the club due to the Indians wanting Erik Gonzalez to continue to get regular at-bats in Triple-A.

“[Martinez and Gonzalez] are at different places in their careers,” Francona said. “Erik has come so far, and sitting early in the year is not going to help him develop. Michael really has done a good job in this role, knowing what his responsibilities are, and things like that. So, I think it’s two-fold.”

With Diaz and Martinez making the roster, Giovanny Urshela, along with Gonzalez, was optioned to Triple-A.

The remaining question for the Indians’ Opening Day roster involves Michael Brantley, and signs are pointing toward Brantley beginning the season in Cleveland.

“He’s in a pretty good spot,” Francona said. “I think out of respect to him, and his situation, there’s no reason we need to say something today, other than that he is in a really good place and he continues to trend in the right place.”

The Indians will be adding non-roster invitees Austin Jackson, Diaz and Martinez to the 40-man roster. Two of those spots will be vacated by Rule 5 pick Hoby Milner’s offer-back to the Philadelphia Phillies and Cody Anderson’s impending addition to the 60-day disabled list after he underwent Tommy John surgery on Monday. The third spot may be vacated by Tim Cooney, who could be headed to the 60-day disabled list with a left forearm injury.

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ.