Smoke signals

• Manager Terry Francona knows that practicing rundown plays is one of the least favorite workouts among players. This spring, the manager tried to come up with a better way to simulate the play by incorporating it into other infield and outfield defense drills. So far, Francona has been happy with the results.

"It's hard to simulate [rundowns] in a Spring Training environment," Francona said. "So what we did was, instead of just having one day, we've had multiple days where we just run the rundowns off of our drill, so it's more realistic. We try to explain to the players whey we're doing it. It's not punishment. I'm really pleased with the way they've paid attention to detail."

• For the second Spring Training in a row, Francona had no intrasquad games on the Indians' pre-Cactus League games schedule. The manager does not like intrasquad contests during the spring, but he said he is in favor of taking on a college baseball team prior to Spring Training games.

"In Boston, we played the college teams. I loved it," Francona said. "That was a way to gradually get into a real game. We don't have anybody out here to play. If Ohio State or [another team] wanted to come out here, I'd be thrilled. I loved it. We played two seven-inning games. Everybody got an at-bat. Everybody got in the game. And then you got into the real games the next day."

• Setup man Cody Allen was one of a handful of pitchers to throw off a mound in a live batting-practice session during Monday's workout. One of the hitters who stepped in to face Allen was top prospect Francisco Lindor. Back in the clubhouse, Allen raved about the young shortstop. Said Allen: "I'll tell you one thing, Lindor's got really quick hands."

• Reliever Matt Capps, who is currently shut down from throwing due to a right shoulder strain, is limited to rehabbing and range-of-motion activities for the time being. Capps (in camp as a non-roster invitee) said Monday that he has felt improvement each day since suffering the setback on Feb. 17.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.