In first big league camp, Holt drawing on experience

Outfielder spent 36 games with Tribe last year

In first big league camp, Holt drawing on experience

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A baseball rested in a patch of gravel beyond the right-field wall of one of the Indians' practice fields Saturday morning. It was the victim of an opposite-field blast that outfielder Tyler Holt launched off Danny Salazar during a batting practice session.

Holt laughed when asked about his shot off the hard-throwing right-hander.

"It's also good to have 40-mph winds behind you," Holt said.

This spring, the 26-year-old Holt is a longshot to crack the Tribe's Opening Day roster -- given the surplus of outfielders in the fold -- but he spent 36 games in the Major Leagues last year and can lean on that experience in his first big league Spring Training.

"I believe getting there with this group of guys has made this Spring Training a lot easier," said Holt, who hit .268 in his stint with the Indians last summer. "I come in here and I'm comfortable and I'm not worried or walking on egg shells, and I'm working hard. It put me in a good place to know what to expect coming into this season."

Indians manager Terry Francona has been impressed by Holt this spring.

"I think it's a lot like other guys that [got a taste of the Majors]," Fracona said. "They show up the next year and they look a little stronger, like they belong a little bit more. You see more confidence. I think that definitely helps."

Here are some more notes and quotes from Saturday:

• Francona was pleased with how the first batting practice sessions of the spring went Saturday morning. Most of the pitchers chose not to throw with a screen in front of them and some of the batters offered the occasional swing. Quipped the manager: "No casualties. I thought it was a good day."

• Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (left ring finger) is progressing well in his hitting program, according to Francona. That said, the manager noted that Cleveland might still hold Kipnis out of the first three or four Cactus League games as a precaution.

• Francona has mentioned on numerous occasions that lefty reliever Kyle Crockett might soon earn more responsbility in the bullpen. On Saturday, Francona added, "As he matures and gets stronger ... I think you'll see he's a guy that can throw full innings, as opposed to just bringing him in for a lefty."

• Left-hander Bruce Chen, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, had some fun with reporters after his first live batting practice session of the spring. "I threw 12 pitches, but then I had to call the trainer," Chen joked, "because my changeup was sick."

• Early-morning rain showers subsided enough to allow for a normal workout. With rain in the forecast again for Sunday, Cleveland has a contingency plan for its pitchers. If necessary, batting practice will shift to the indoor batting cage, with hitters instructed not to swing.

• For the second time this spring, Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer exited the complex for the day wearing a bright blue wig. Bauer is a diehard fan of the Duke Blue Devils basketball team.

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.