(GOODYEAR, Ariz.) – Indians manager Terry Francona waited until the final day of spring training to reveal his Opening Day lineup and while there were no surprises, the new skipper confirmed it to a small group of media members at the club’s player development complex.
Prior to the Tribe’s 9-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark in their final Cactus League game Saturday, Francona talked about the lineup he will put up against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays on April 2 at the Rogers Centre.
The Indians Opening Day lineup will look like this:
1. Michael Bourn CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera SS
3. Jason Kipnis 2B
4. Nick Swisher 1B
5. Michael Brantley LF
6. Carlos Santana C
7. Mark Reynolds DH
8. Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
9. Drew Stubbs RF
Francona said the Indians lineup boasts plenty of versatility.
“Balance, speed, length…we have switch-hitters, we got left-handed hitters, we’ve got right-handed power, we got switch-hitters or righties in between our lefties,” Francona said. “Now we have to go see how this lineup is going to do.”
As for facing Dickey on Opening Day?
“He’s good,” Francona said. “Hopefully we’ll figure out a way to be one run better than him. Everything gets blown out of proportion on Opening Day. Our nerves are blown out of proportion, there is anxiety there is excitement.”
Indians right-hander Justin Masterson will open the 2013 season for a Tribe rotation that carries with it a lot of question marks. Masterson will be joined by RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP Brett Myers, RHP Zach McAllister and LHP Scott Kazmir.
Myers started Saturday’s final Cactus League game against the Reds. The veteran righty went five solid innings allowing only three hits and a run, while striking out three.
Brett Myers finished off his spring campaign with a solid outing going five strong innings allowing only three hits and one run, while striking out three. Photo courtesy Cleveland Indians
The Indians scoring Saturday was highlighted by outfielder Matt Carson who drove in a run with an infield single in the fourth inning and followed that up with a 2-run homer in the sixth inning to give the Tribe a 5-1 lead at the time. Carson will start this upcoming season with Triple-A Columbus.
Cleveland finished Cactus League exhibition play with a record of 17-16-2.
Francona said the Indians have a “mandatory” off day on Sunday. The club will work out Monday at the Rogers Centre. First pitch is set for 7:07 pm ET on Tuesday between the Indians and Blue Jays. You can listen to all the play-by-play action on Newsradio WTAM 1100.
- Nick Camino