Smoke signals

• With Indians shortstops Asdrubal Cabrera (Venezuela) and Mike Aviles (Puerto Rico) both leaving camp to play in the World Baseball Classic, the Tribe will have a chance to see a variety of shortstops. Manager Terry Francona said the club will bring up Minor Leaguers, such as prospects Francisco Lindor and Ronny Rodriguez, while continuing to give playing time at short to Juan Diaz and Luis Hernandez.

• Francona said he plans on speaking with Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez (also the manager of Cleveland's Double-A Akron club) about whether Minor League lefty Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico) should be used as a starter in the World Baseball Classic. Soto has posted a 47.25 ERA in two Cactus League games (1 1/3 innings) for the Indians.

• Indians reliever Joe Smith, who is working his way back from a minor left abdominal strain, threw off a mound for a 28-pitch live batting practie session Thursday morning at Cleveland's complex in Goodyear, Ariz. Smith might be cleared for his first Cactus League outing next week.