Smoke signals

• The Indians will open this season with utililty men Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn on their bench. Both players have served as everyday players in the past, making the first few weeks important for their transition back to reserve roles with Cleveland this year.

"The hardest thing will be the first couple weeks of the season," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You're trying to get guys locked in. That's a little bit of a trying time for the bench, because you get guys routine at-bats out here -- every other day or something -- and then the season starts."

• All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who has missed the past four games with a back issue, resumed hitting drills during Wednesday's team workout. Francona said the team is taking a cautious approach with Cabrera in order to get him ready for Opening Day. The manager indicated that the shortstop would likely sit out at least one more game.

• Right-hander Zach McAllister and lefty Scott Kazmir -- Cleveland's fourth and fifth starters, respectively -- will pitch in Minor League games as their final tuneups for the regular season. Kazmir is scheduled to pitch next on Saturday and McAllister will work on Sunday.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for 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.