The makeup of the Indians’ Opening Day roster became a little more clear on Friday morning, when the club made a handful of roster moves and decisions.
Cleveland named right-hander Josh Tomlin the team’s fifth starter, putting him in a rotation that also includes Opening Day starter Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Mitch Talbot and Carlos Carrasco.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti noted that Orlando Cabrera will open as the team’s second baseman and Jack Hannahan (not currently on the 40-man roster) will make the club as the third baseman, barring any roster setbacks in the final days of camp.
Antonetti also indicated that outfielders Travis Buck and Shelley Duncan are in the plans for the Opening Day roster. Outfielders Jordan Brown and Chad Huffman — while still technically in Major League camp — are expected to be sent to the Minors to open this season.
Reliever Joe Smith (strained abdominal muscle) is “more likely” to open the season on the 15-day disabled list, according to Antonetti. That would leave Justin Germano, Frank Herrmann, Vinnie Pestano and Jess Todd battling for the three vacancies in the Tribe’s bullpen.
Like Hannahan, Buck and Germano are in camp as non-roster players. The team’s 40-man roster currently stands at 39, so two subsequent moves would be required if both Buck and Germano made the Opening Day squad. Antonetti said such moves would need to be completed by Thursday.
David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez, who were competing against Tomlin for the fifth spot, have been optioned to Triple-A Columbus, along with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera. Right-handers Anthony Reyes and Doug Mathis have been re-assigned to Minor League camp.
The Indians’ remaining decisions involve the bullpen, the backup catcher and the utility infielder role off the bench. Lou Marson is competing against Paul Phillips and Luke Carlin for the reserve role behind the plate. Adam Everett, Luis Valbuena, Jayson Nix and Cord Phelps are infielder still in camp.