--OF Trevor Crowe, a former No. 1 pick, has been invited to the Indians' major league training camp as a non-roster player. Crowe, the 14th player taken overall in the 2005 June Draft, has never been able to get his career over the big league hump. He missed most of last year because of shoulder surgery. Crowe, 28, will compete for a spot as an extra outfielder.
--LHP Kelvin De La Cruz was designated for assignment on Feb. 14 in order to make room on the 40-man roster for recently-signed 1B Casey Kotchman. De La Cruz last year was 5-6 with a 4.19 ERA in 23 games (16 starts) at Class AAA Columbus.
--C Lou Marson goes to training camp as the likely backup to starting C Carlos Santana. Marson and Santana are the only catchers on the 40-man roster. The Indians, however, have invited four non-roster catchers to their major league camp. Marson is an above average defensive catcher, but the Indians would like to see a little more bat. Marson in 2011 batted only .230 overall, .191 vs. right-handed pitchers.
--RHP Hector Ambriz will be in the major league training camp as a non-roster player. A Rule 5 Draft selection by the Indians, Ambriz was 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in 34 relief appearances in 2010, then underwent Tommy John surgery in October of that year and missed all of the 2011 season. Ambriz will compete for a spot in the Indians' bullpen.
--INF Jose Lopez could be a dark horse to win a spot on the opening day roster. Lopez is a non-roster invitee, but he has had some success at the major league level. He made the AL All-Star team while with Seattle in 2006, and had 25 home runs and 96 RBI for the Mariners in 2009. Lopez will compete for a utility job on the Indians' opening day roster.
BY THE NUMBERS
5 -- Number of ex-Indians who will be in spring training as a special advisor, special assistant, or guest instructor. They are Mike Hargrove, Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Adam Everett, and Jason Bere.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We can't sell dreams to people." -- Manager Manny Acta, on the Indians' attempt to improve their roster during the off-season.
Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.