Smoke signals

• Francona said one of the most important lessons from the 2013 season was that the current team has the ability to bounce back from bad slumps. During the '11 and '12 seasons, second-half collapses derailed Cleveland's hopes of contending. The Tribe avoided a repeat last year, winning 21 games in September and reaching the postseason.

"You try to take what happened last year and make it an advantage," Francona said. "Take the experience, take the positives and build. The one thing I think will help is, when we get punched in the stomach, which we will, we'll know down deep that we are good enough to come back.

"It's not just the younger guys. It's everybody. At the beginning of last year, I remember looking out and thinking like, boy, you could see a lot of, 'Oh, here we go again.' We were trying to fight that, because that's not how we felt."

• Francona said he thought Indians outfielder David Murphy was showing clear signs of breaking out of his spring slump. Entering Saturday, Murphy had gone 4-for-9 with two doubles in his past three games, following a .163 (7-for-43) skid at the plate. Francona said Murphy benefited from getting 10 plate appearances in Minor League games on Tuesday.

"It really helped him," Francona said. "He's getting hot at the right time. You can see when he swings now his legs are under him, he's kind of committed to his swing and the ball's coming off his bat different."

• Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis made it known earlier this spring that he would prefer not to discuss a contract extension during the regular season. General manager Chris Antonetti declined comment Saturday when asked if there had been any progress on that front. Kipnis has also been consistent in not commenting on negotiations.

• The Indians are expected to place center fielder Michael Bourn (left hamstring strain) and designated hitter Jason Giambi (fractured rib in right side) on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. Bourn remains in Arizona, where he is continuing to work through a running program. Giambi is scheduled to progress to regular batting practice on Monday in Oakland.

• Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who is scheduled to make his season debut against the Twins on April 5 in Cleveland, logged six innings in a Minor League game with Double-A Akron on Saturday. Carrasco finished with two runs allowed on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

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.