Meetings help Indians set tone early in spring

Moss making progress; Murphy's role depends on health of others

Meetings help Indians set tone early in spring

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- One by one, Cleveland's position players made their way to manager Terry Francona's office Monday morning. Each year, Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti hold individual meetings with each player on the roster to go over goals for the spring and the coming season.

This practice is not done across the board among Major League teams, but it is something the Indians feel is important for their players and the team's staff. Scott Atchison, who has played for five big league teams, said the Indians' level of communication and honesty is something the players really appreciate, especially when there are roster competitions still to sort out.

"Some teams do it and some teams don't," Atchison said. "I think it's good -- I like it. No matter what you're coming into spring expecting or what you think you're expecting, they're going to lay it out for you here and they're very honest with you. They're not going to maybe tell you just what you want to here. They're going to be straight up and honest with it. It's a good way to start camp."

Here are more notes and quotes from Monday:

Brandon Moss, who is returning from October hip surgery, was on the agility field Monday morning, continuing his running progression. Moss is expected to be ready for games by mid-March, but Francona is not ready to say whether the outfielder might be ready in time for Opening Day.

Outlook: Moss, OF, CLE

• Given the uncertain health status of Moss, Nick Swisher (both knees) and Ryan Raburn (left knee), the Indians want to have contingency plans in place. Right now, right fielder David Murphy's role on the team may hinge on the status of the players coming back from injuries.

• Shortstop Jose Ramirez reported to Arizona roughly a month before Spring Training began and impressed the staff by dropping some weight he had gained over the winter. During the meeting with Ramirez on Monday, Francona said the team's message was "about taking charge. He's worked his way to the Major Leagues really quickly. OK, now that he's here, to help us win, you've go to start trying to take charge in the infield as a shortstop does."

• One of the most intriguing spots in the lineup for the Indians will be the No. 2 slot. Francona has one option in Ramirez, who performed well as the second hitter in the second half last year, but the manager might also use second baseman Jason Kipnis, who was an All-Star in 2013.

• Former Indians players Travis Hafner and John McDonald arrived to Cleveland's camp on Monday morning. Hafner and McDonald were hired over the offseason as special assistants to player development and scouting and will serve as guest instructors for the Indians this spring.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.