Positional battles created tough roster calls for Francona

Positional battles created tough roster calls for Francona

CLEVELAND -- Opening Day is around the corner and the Indians' roster is set. How the final puzzle came together was complicated and included a handful of obstacles for manager Terry Francona and his staff to sort through and solve.

With outfielders Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall opening on the disabled list, the Indians were able to be a little creative. Cody Anderson and Josh Tomlin made the rotation, Trevor Bauer was sent to the bullpen and the outfield was filled with a mix of role players.

MLB.com met with Francona to discuss this spring and some of the issues that faced the Tribe.

"We've had a lot of competition, which is OK," Francona said. "With Brantley not ready to start on time, that certainly opened up some things. We were trying to fill the last couple spots in the bullpen and solidify maybe the four and five spots in our rotation, things like that, because you don't want to have too many competitions. But, I think it's been healthy. I think the guys have done a good job."

Francona discussed the impact of free-agent signees Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli, the expectations for shortstop Francisco Lindor and the manager's take on the lofty expectations for the Tribe's rotation. Francona also addressed his own expectations for the Tribe, which will aim to compete in a tough American League Central this season.

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