Smoke signals

Carlos Santana, who has primarily been focusing on competing for the third-base job this spring, is expected to get back behind the plate some this week, catching a bullpen on Monday and then likely appearing in a Cactus League game.

"He's willing to try," Francona said of Santana balancing multiple positions. "It's kind of a unique skill set and we're trying to balance the amount of work he's done just to play third. He's out there every morning. And on top of that, doing the catching, if he can do that, it's a unique skill set. There's not one team in baseball that has their backup catcher hit cleanup."

• Right-hander Danny Salazar threw three innings in a Minor League game on Friday, with velocity in the 92-98 mph range, and struck out six batters. He gave up a solo homer.

"Progressing really well," Francona said. "Felt good about how his arm felt. His next game will be in a regular game for us. Try to get him up to about four innings."

• Sunday's game against the Cubs in Mesa will be the Tribe's third opportunity to try out Major League Baseball's new instant replay system. In the two previous instances with replay available (including Friday against the White Sox), Francona has elected to not challenge any plays. He has said before he doesn't intend to use any opportunity as a practice run unless the situation truly calls for it.

The Indians' games March 17 and 24 against the Reds in Goodyear are the team's other two Cactus League games with instant replay available.

• Young right-hander Trevor Bauer was slated to throw four innings in a Minor League game on Saturday. He was hit hard in his last Cactus League outing -- to the tune of seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks in two innings.

• Francona said outfielder Nyjer Morgan (slight left calf strain) is "champing at the bit" to get back into game action, but he still needs to be medically cleared to do so.

• Former Major Leaguers and Indians coaches Robby Thompson and Carl Willis are in camp this week as special assistants and will work with Minor Leaguers.

"They're just guys that have a wealth of experience in baseball and they have ties to Cleveland and everybody loves them," Francona said. "I think it's a great idea. You can't walk by either one of those guys and not immediately fall into a comfortable conversation. And I would imagine if they spent 10 minutes with a Minor League player, they'd be better off for it."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.