Tribe to Murphy: Prepare as you normally do

Tribe to Murphy: Prepare as you normally do

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- David Murphy might find himself on the Indians' Opening Day roster when everything is said and done, but the veteran outfielder's role has yet to be determined. Depending on the health of a few other players, Murphy could be the starting right fielder or an extra player on the bench.

Right now, the most important thing to Murphy is communication from Cleveland's staff.

"It's huge. In a situation like this, they asked what they can do for me, and I said communication," Murphy said on Tuesday morning. "I think every player wants to know where they stand, and that is a big strength here. You don't get that everywhere. You don't like coming to the ballpark every day wondering where you stand."

The reality is that the Indians have a surplus of players who can play right field. If they are at full strength by Opening Day, Brandon Moss (hip) and Nick Swisher (both knees) project to be in the starting lineup either in right field or as a designated hitter. It helps that both players can also play first base, but that job belongs to Carlos Santana now.

The Indians also have utility men Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn on their bench.

Tribe manager Terry Francona thinks it is far too early to say that the pile of players for only a handful of jobs is a problem.

"I don't think Murph is in a situation," Francona said. "When we break Spring Training, if everybody is healthy and productive, we're probably going to have to make it work. Part of me certainly hopes that's the case, because that means everybody's healthy and everybody's productive. And then we would sit down with guys and try to put our best team on the field."

Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti sat down with Murphy on Monday to talk things over.

"[They said], 'Don't come prepared to be a bench player. Come in like you usually do,'" Murphy said. "There could be a lot worse situations to be in. The thing that makes it not bother me is I am on a team loaded with talent that can win a lot of games. At this point of my career, I want to win and have fun."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.