Smoke signals

• Indians third baseman Carlos Santana entered Tuesday leading the Majors with eight walks. Santana also led baseball with an average of 5.22 pitches per plate appearance (Mike Napoli ranked second at 4.88). Francona said Santana's blend of power and patience is impressive.

"It can be a little surprising, because he has so much violence in that swing," Francona said. "For the most part, once you throw it over the plate, and once he decides to swing, man, he's committed to that swing. He lets it fly. But he's got a rare ability. He's a switch-hitter, commands the zone from both sides and he hits good pitching."

• Hosting the Padres of the National League West would be seem odd at any point of the season for the Indians. Having San Diego in Cleveland during the first homestand of the year is even more different, and a testament to how Major League Baseball's schedule is evolving.

"I guess, if anything, I wish we would've been playing in San Diego," Francona said with a laugh. "It's just the way the schedule is. There are so many quirks to the schedule now, because of Interleague Play and divisional play and unbalanced schedule. That's why you just go where they tell you."

• Indians right-hander Frank Herrmann, who was designated for assignment on March 30, cleared waivers and has been sent outright to Triple-A Columbus. The 29-year-old Herrmann (the longest tenured player in Cleveland's organization) missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He has a 4.26 ERA in 95 career games in the Majors.

• At the suggestion of first baseman Nick Swisher, the Indians now allow their players to bring their daughters into the clubhouse after Sunday games in Cleveland. Swisher (son of former big leaguer Steve Swisher) said he remembers how much fun it was to be in the clubhouse as a kid and he believes this is another example of how the Indians put family first.

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.