Smoke signals

• Antonetti has a policy of always being in the room with Francona -- and often another member of the coaching staff -- when talking to players about roles or delivering news of a promotion or demotion. The general manager says it is important for players to see that each decision is made as a group.

"We try to have a consistent organizational message," Antonetti said. "I think it's important that the players also know that there's a unified approach and it's a collective decision and that we're on the same page. I do think it's important."

• Antonetti said the team would base Carlos Santana's playing time first on when starting catcher Yan Gomes needed a day off. When Santana does not serve as the backup catcher, the cleanup hitter will have his playing time divided between third base and potentially designated hitter.

"We need to make sure we keep Yan fresh," Antonetti said. "[Santana] will play some third. How much remains to be seen and is based upon how different guys are doing in a variety of other things."

• Francona said Gomes (hitting .229 through 16 Cactus League games) went to the Minor League side on Wednesday to take at-bats. On Tuesday, outfielder David Murphy (.163 average through 14 Cactus League games) took the same approach and got 10 at-bats in Minor League games.

"Trying to get 10 at-bats in our games takes 10 hours," Francona said with a laugh. "You can't do it. It was a really good day for [Murphy]. He started out slow and got better. He was thrilled."

• With the Opening Day roster including three utility men who can play the outfield in Mike Aviles, Elliot Johnson and Ryan Raburn, Francona says he can avoid using first baseman Nick Swisher in right field this season. Swisher bounced between first and right last year.

"I wouldn't say you'd see that unless something drastically happened, like somebody got hurt," Francona said. "The good news is Swish was willing to do it last year. He'd probably do it again. We haven't even asked him, because we don't anticipate that happening. But you adjust when you need to."

• By telling veteran Jason Giambi (fractured rib) that he would begin the season on the Major League disabled list, the Indians avoided having to pay him a $100,000 retention bonus. While Giambi could have approved a trip to the Minor League DL, the Indians felt it was important to keep him with the big league club.

"He's a big part of what we do," Antonetti said, "so we wanted to make sure he was there."

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.