Smoke signals

• Playing intrasquad games has been a decades-old tradition for the Indians. New manager Terry Francona has scrapped the common practice this year. Francona never liked intrasquad games as a player or manager, and he does not have any such contests in the plans for Cleveland this Spring Training.

"If we're sloppy the first game or two in the Cactus League, that's not the end of the world," Francona said. "I just hate [intrasquad games]. I don't think our guys like facing our guys. I don't think our hitters like facing our pitchers. And then you've got a bunch of guys sitting around. I just think that we'll do enough stuff at full speed."

• Indians reliever Joe Smith (left oblique) took a day off from throwing on Thursday. The right-handed sidearmer is scheduled to resume his throwing program on Friday. Barring any setbacks, Smith might be cleared to throw off a mound by the end of next week.