Earning their wings
“I think it’ll be a good outfield, man,” Bourn said. “We’ve all got speed out there. We’ve all got pretty good arms and we’re all going to make plays. You put that combination together, I think we’ll be just fine. I think we’ll be exciting to watch.”
This does not mean that their defensive partnership will come without growing pains.
In Friday’s spring opener against the Reds, it was evident early on that the group will need some time to learn how to work together.
This is why the preseason is so important.
“We had a little mix-up in the outfield early,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Those are things that, not that you want to have happen, but if it’s going to happen, that’s why you have Spring Training. You can take that and work on it, and it ends up helping you.”
In the first inning, Cincinnati’s Ryan Hanigan sent a pitch into the right-center gap. It was a catchable fly ball, but Bourn and Stubbs had some communication issues are they sprinted toward one another. The baseball dropped in and Hanigan was rewarded with a two-run double.
“That was really my fault,” Bourn said. “I didn’t go at it, because I thought he already had it. That happens in Spring Training. You’d rather for it to happen now than when it really counts. I take the blame for that one.”
Stubbs also felt at fault, according to Francona.
“Drew said, ‘I took for granted that he was going to catch it,’” Francona said. “Those are things that you iron out now.”
All three outfielders are such good runners that they will need to learn how to account for the other’s range as they convene on fly balls. Bourn said learning and adjusting to the athleticism offered by Brantley and Stubbs will be important this spring.
“That’s the biggest key for me the first couple weeks,” Bourn said. “I just want to figure out who has what ranges with each other. I’ll go from there. Because I’m in the middle, I want to know what the corners look like. I know we have good corner outfielders.
“It’s pretty much three center fielders out there playing. We’ll just watch each other, feed off each other and we’ll learn as we go.”
Final score: Indians 11, Reds 10
Cactus League record: 1-0
Catching you up on some stories and happenings of late…
- Francona proud to be back in uniform, and already proud of his new team
- Bloom: New-look Tribe reminder of ’90s teams
- Pestano likes the depth brewing in the bullpen
- Gomes content with decision to stay in camp
- Baerga and Hart elected to Indians Hall of Fame
- Carrasco healthy, competing for rotation spot
- Capps eager to push for relief role
- Some Indians pitchers went without L screens in live BP
- Bauer debuted his long toss program in Tribe camp
- Francona weaves some tales about managing MJ
- Who will hit behind Bourn?
- Ringolsby stopped by camp to examine busy winter
- Aviles has fond memories of Ashland, Ohio
- Swisher had to step away from camp due to a tough loss
- Stubbs confident he can handle switch to right
- Chisenhall relaxed now that third base job is his
- Santana might not see much time at first or DH
Keep checking Indians.com for more news and features throughout the spring, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@MLBastian) and Instagram (bastianmlb). I have posted photos from camp on both social-media sites.