Tribe helping Floyd obtain second opinion on elbow

Tribe helping Floyd obtain second opinion on elbow

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have the rest of Spring Training to sort out how the loss of Gavin Floyd will impact their rotation depth. Right now, the club is focused on helping the right-hander determine the best course of action in light of his second elbow fracture in nine months.

An MRI exam earlier this week confirmed that the 32-year-old Floyd re-fractured the olecranon bone in his throwing arm -- the same injury that led to season-ending surgery while he was with the Braves last June. Cleveland's medical staff is working with Floyd on obtaining a second opinion in order to plan the next step in his latest comeback attempt.

"This is a major thing for his career, and you don't want to rush into anything," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Thursday. "I think he had a day or two to kind of take a deep breath, and now he's on the next step of how he's going to get fixed."

Dr. David Altchek performed Tommy John surgery on Floyd's elbow in May 2013, and also did the procedure to stabilize the pitcher's fracture last June 25. The veteran right-hander returned to throwing and passed a physical over the offseason, earning a one-year contract worth a base salary of $4 million from the Indians.

With Floyd no longer part of the foreseeable future for Cleveland's staff, there are a handful of arms (Danny Salazar, T.J. House, Zach McAllister, Josh Tomlin, Shaun Marcum and Bruce Chen) in the mix for two vacancies in the rotation.

"We have the guys to do it," Francona said.

Here are some more notes from Thursday:

• The Indians have four scheduled off-days within the first 18 days of the regular season, meaning the team will only need a fifth starter twice in that span. Francona said he and his staff will continue to think about how that unique scheduling might influence the structure of the Opening Day pitching staff.

• For Friday's split-squad games (home against the D-backs and on the road against the Cubs), Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway will be on the travel squad to Mesa. Bench coach Brad Mills will manage at home, with bullpen coach Jason Bere handling the pitching staff.

• After his latest start, Trevor Bauer said he already felt like he could log nine innings. Said Francona: "He's conditioned his arm to an incredible point. He probably could. I don't think it would be in his best interest, so we're not going to do that. When you're young, you feel indestructible. We have an obligation to try to look out for him and his career."

• Tomlin, who was bothered by right shoulder soreness recently, was scheduled to throw off a mound in a side session on Thursday morning. Francona said Tomlin is "feeling pretty good." Barring any setbacks, the pitcher is slated to work two innings against the Dodgers on Saturday.

• Francona had high praise for the defense of Minor League third baseman Giovanny Urshela, who was rated fourth on MLB.com's Top 30 Indians prospects, unveiled Thursday. Said Francona: "Even right now, I'd say [he's] probably a plus Major League defender."

• On Thursday morning, the Indians received the 2014 Bobby Murcer Award from the Baseball Assistance Team. The honor is in recognition of making the most donations to the non-profit organization among American League teams last year.

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.