Tribe players gear up on Glove Day

Tribe players gear up on Glove Day

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Carlos Carrasco pounded his right fist into his new red-and-blue glove on Sunday morning, with a row of black Wilson bags sitting outside the Indians' complex. The pitcher smiled when asked how he planned on breaking in his new piece of leather.

"I just put it in the microwave for a little bit," Carrasco said. "The microwave gets it soft."

One of the Wilson staffers cringed at that comment, as some laughter broke out.

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Welcome to Wilson Glove Day, which is essentially the Christmas of Spring Training for players who use the brand for their gear during the season. Carrasco, Dan Otero, Andrew Miller, Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez were among the Cleveland players who headed outside to pick up their personalized gloves, or to browse the bags filled with a mix of models.

Carrasco's "A2K" glove -- colored to match the Tribe's navy-and-red tones -- had his number, "59," stitched into the side. Otero had his full name, "Daniel Otero," on the side of his new piece of equipment, along with the Chief Wahoo logo. Both pitchers received two gloves. Carrasco also ordered a dark-gray version that he said he plans on using on the road. Otero said he will use the spring to figure out which glove will get the nod for Opening Day.

Told that he had the same model as Carrasco, Otero smirked.

"Maybe I'll get Carrasco's stuff, too," joked the reliever. "His changeup and fastball."

All Otero needs to break in his glove is the daily throwing sessions with hard-throwing righty Zach McAllister. No oils or tricks. Otero likes to get his leather in game shape the old-fashioned way. Asked if he ever considered putting it in a microwave like Carrasco, Otero shook his head.

"My dad did that for my glove once when I was younger," said the pitcher. "I had to run out of my room to tell him to stop. I didn't want my glove ruined. I like just to naturally break it in."

The Wilson gloves are not only for the players, either.

Over the offseason, when Otero sat down and designed his gloves for this year, his 3-year-old daughter, Kinsley, joined him at the computer. He let her pick out the colors and have her name stitched into the side of the glove, too.

"Of course it's pink and purple," he said with a smile. "It's in the bottom of her toy chest, but maybe at some point she'll use it."

Miller showed off a red-white-and-blue glove that included "AM24" and the American flag on the side. He plans on wearing that during the World Baseball Classic this spring.

"It's exciting," said Miller, who said he has used only two gloves over his 11-year career. "You don't often get to wear gloves with this kind of flair on there."

How will Miller break his in?

"Just play catch. Nothing crazy," he said. "I don't microwave it."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.