Carlos Carrasco has earned the final spot in the Indians' rotation, the 27-year-old right-hander said he learned this morning. Carrasco said he hasn't been told if he will be the Tribe's fourth or fifth starter.
The Indians completed their roster decisions by adding right-handers Scott Atchison and Blake Wood to the bullpen. Both said they learned the news Monday.
Asked why he didn't tell the local media, Wood said, "You never asked."
Right-hander Josh Tomlin, competing with Carrasco, learned he was being sent to Triple-A Columbus. General manager Chris Antonetti said Tomlin took the news like a professional. The Indians considered keeping Tomlin in the bullpen, but did not think that would be fair to him.
Carrasco was worried that a rocky outing March 19 against the Oakland A's might hurt his chances, so he came out aggressive Monday against the Cincinnati Reds.
"I feel happy to make the team,' Carrasco said.
Carrasco regards 2014 as an important year, especially after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in August, 2011. Last season Carrasco spent time at Triple-A Columbus. With the Indians he went 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA and was more effective late in the season out of the bullpen.
"Last year I didn't have a good year," he said. "I think this is going to be a big year for us, and for me, too."
It will be the first time Wood, 28, has been on an Opening Day roster. He had right elbow surgery in March, 2012 when he was with Kansas City and was claimed off waivers by the Indians that November.
"It's given me perspective on a lot of things, knowing how special it is being on a big-league squad," Wood said of coming back from surgery. "Not that I ever took it for granted in the past. Coming back from what I did is really fulfilling.
"For them to pick me up when they did, five months out of surgery, you're not really for sure if a guy is even going to come back at that point. For them to believe in me and rehab me and help me go through this process, it's definitely for this year and beyond."
Atchison, 38, signed a minor league free agent contract with the Indians in January. He pitched for Tribe manager Terry Francona in 2011 with the Boston Red Sox.
"They hinted a couple days ago, Monday afternoon maybe," Atchison said. "They still had some things they needed to sort out and we weren't 100 percent sure. At that point you take a deep breath, I guess. It always is (a relief). You come in without a guarantee on anything and you never know what's going to happen. I felt like I threw the ball well all spring and I was rewarded for it."
General manager Chris Antonetti said converted catcher Carlos Santana will play "some" at third base, but he's not sure how much. Santana was told that this season he would back up catcher Yan Gomes and be the regular designated hitter, but he wanted to be more involved.
"We need to make sure we keep Yan fresh, so it will start with how much he needs to catch," Antonetti said. "From there we'll see. He'll play some third. How much remains to be seen and based upon how different guys are doing and a variety of other things."
Antonetti said the Indians did not pay a $100,000 retention bonus to designated hitter/first baseman Jason Giambi. Signed to a minor league free agent contract, Giambi and the Indians decided to forego the bonus so he could be placed on the major league disabled list instead of the minor league list and make the season-opening trip to Oakland.
"We thought it was important for us to have Jason with us on Opening Day and be part of the team," Anonetti said. "He's a big part of what we do, so we wanted to make sure he was there."