Indians President Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona met with the media to kick off Friday’s availability sessions and had plenty to get to as the Tribe kicks off Spring […]
Indians President Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona met with the media to kick off Friday’s availability sessions and had plenty to get to as the Tribe kicks off Spring Training 2.0.
Antonietti revealed that Tribe outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. tested positive for coronavirus and is not in Cleveland. While Antonetti said DeShields is doing well, he will need to test negative once to travel to Cleveland, and twice to rejoin the team.
Spinning off that, Antonetti said that naturally, he’s “very concerned” about monitoring the health throughout the entire organization, particularly on the coaching staff. Manager Terry Francona is 61. Bench coach Brad Mills is 63. Pitching coach Carl Willis is 59.
“I’m constantly thinking about that,” Antonetti said.
Among the other major takeaways from the Indians President was that the Tribe will have a daunting start to their schedule. Antonetti revealed that the Indians will play 17 straight games without a day off. Major League Baseball is still working through scheduling but is trending towards having a slate completed to release next week, according to reports.
The roster has also been updated, as the Indians have gone from five open slots to their 60-man to two.
Cleveland announced Friday the Minor League contracts of right-hander David Hernandez, infielder Jake Elmore, and catcher Steven Baron. That leaves just a pair of spots, which, if those two were filled, the Tribe’s player pool throughout the entirety of the 2020 season could only come from that 60-man roster outside of any sort of a trade before the August 31.
Both Antonetti and Francona talked about the organization developing a code of conduct to go by for the coming season. The Indians will weigh opinions from players and staff to develop something that everyone can follow.
“It’s a good time to buckle down right now and focus on what’s important,” Zach Plesac said.
Francona said he’s been impressed with the team’s cooperation with COVID-19 rules and regulations. The Indians held a video session on Thursday to go over the impact the virus is having on what they will be doing. Francona said his players asked many questions. Several players who met with the media Friday said that going out to bars and socializing right now is something that is not their focus.
In terms of baseball takeaways from Francona, he said that things are likely on track for 25-year-old Shane Bieber to be the opening day starter.
For the Tribe in general, there’s not an adjustment of the approach to the 60-game sprint as opposed to the 162-game marathon.
“We could be playing these games in Siberia, and it could be a 10-game season, and we’d still want to win,” said Francona, who is in his eighth season as the Tribe skipper. “That’s how we’re built. Nothing against Siberia, by the way. I’ve never been there.”
For what it’s worth, it’s 75 degrees with sunny skies in Siberia right now.
Just a tad better than opening day snow in Cleveland…