Former pitcher Moncrief developing into promising hitter

Former pitcher Moncrief developing into promising hitter

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians outfield prospect Carlos Moncrief went 4-for-4 in Wednesday's Cactus League win over the Reds. Moncrief added a homer, double and three runs in a "B" game against Cincinnati on Thursday. The 26-year-old Moncrief, who is expected to open with Triple-A Columbus, made the switch from pitching to the outfield after the 2009 season and has developed into a promising hitter for the Tribe.

"When you switch from pitching to hitting, you don't come in with an identity as a hitter," Moncrief said. "I feel like, as a hitter, you have to have an identity. So, when you step in the box, they know that it's a hitter up there. It's not like, 'He used to be a pitcher.' I've tried to create an identity and live it when I get out there."

Around the horn:
• Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who will likely be Cleveland's No. 2 or No. 3 starter, logged two innings in a "B" game against the Reds on Thursday morning. Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said Carrasco's outing went well and was pleased with how the hard-throwing righty eased into the appearance.

"He had a good tempo. He wasn't overdoing it," Callaway said. "The thing that worried me coming into spring was we talked about intent and letting it go and pitching like you're out of the 'pen. Well, we don't want him doing that right now. We don't want him averaging 97 yet. He did a really good job of controlling his effort level."

• American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber came down with flu-like symptoms on Wednesday, but manager Terry Francona said the pitcher bounced back and "felt fine" on Thursday. As things stand, Kluber is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday against the Dodgers.

• Francona noted on Thursday that second baseman Jason Kipnis is slated to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday. Kipnis has been slightly behind the rest of the hitters in camp due to a left ring finger injury he sustained in December.

• Francona said "it wouldn't be surprising" if Brandon Moss (hip) makes his game debut next week. The manager added that Nick Swisher (both knees) is behind Moss' schedule in terms of a return to games, but he noted that the veteran is making "some improvements" in his gradual running progression.

• Here is the upcoming schedule for the four main candidates for the rotation's lone opening: Danny Salazar is slated for two innings in his spring debut on Friday; Zach McAllister is down for three innings after Kluber on Saturday; T.J. House (starter) and Josh Tomlin are each penciled in for three innings on Sunday.

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.