ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tribe moved from one artificial turf field to another this weekend, heading from Toronto's Rogers Centre to Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field. But when the Indians head back home Monday, they'll be done with turf for the rest of the year -- not that it's as big of a deal as it used to be, perhaps.
"This isn't so bad," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Knowing that you're playing this time of year, that's not a bad thing.
"I don't mind. This stuff is not like the old stuff. I think it's OK. I think it plays fair. It's OK. If they can play football on this, we can play baseball."
With that in mind, Francona said he doesn't worry about giving players off-days to rest their legs more than he usually does. But he will be mixing in the rest of his bench this weekend regardless.
Mike Aviles got the start at third base Friday night, Lou Marson will be the starting catcher Saturday and Francona said Ryan Raburn will also get a start this weekend.
"Everybody will play," Francona said.
Bauer set for spot start after Major League callup
ST. PETERSBURG -- Trevor Bauer will make his first start with the Indians on Saturday, but he won't be staying for long.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Friday that Trevor Bauer will make a spot start Saturday in place of the injured Scott Kazmir, before Carlos Carrasco returns from his suspension and becomes a more permanent replacement.
The latest plan for the rotation, Francona said, look like this: Bauer on Saturday, Justin Masterson on Sunday, Ubaldo Jimenez on Monday, Carrasco on Tuesday, Brett Myers on Wednesday and Zach McAllister on Thursday. That means Bauer will be sent back to Triple-A Columbus at some point after Saturday's start, most likely Tuesday, when Jason Giambi comes off the disabled list.
"Without the day off the first two weeks of the season, that way we can now have Brett and guys fall in line and get an extra day, which I think we all think [is] really good," Francona said.
Bauer was intially scheduled to be Columbus' Opening Day starter on Thursday, but he was told to throw a side session in the bullpen instead. He couldn't remember if he found out before or after that session that his first start of the season would be in the Majors, nor was he particularly worked up about making his 2013 debut for the Tribe.
Then again, Bauer said, he wasn't too amped up about his Major League debut last season, either.
"That one, to me, was just another baseball game that happened to be in the big leagues. It wasn't like a meteoric event that you may think it would be," Bauer said. "I don't really get too nervous or pumped up or anything like that for anything, really. I'm just kind of more even-keeled. Kind of the same.
"I think that's just the way I am. I wish I could get more excited about stuff. I pitched in the College World Series. I grew up as a kid watching the College World Series, then [I] get there and it's supposed to be this awesome, 'Oh, it's Rosenblatt [Stadium].' And I'm like, 'Oh, that's cool.' So sometimes I wish I did get a little more excited and realize how cool events are, but I guess I kind of look back and say, 'Oh, that was pretty cool.'"
Toward the end of camp, Bauer said he was "trying to overwrite 10 years of neuromuscular programming in four or five weeks," which wasn't an easy process for him. But he said Friday he accomplished everything he wanted to in Spring Training, and he feels "pretty good" heading into the start against the Rays.
Bauer will have more time to make adjustments in the Minors, while Carrasco will slot into the rotation after serving out the rest of his six-game suspension. Francona said Carrasco has been working in the bullpen and recently pitched a simulated game. Carrasco should be able to join the Tribe in the dugout as soon as Sunday, Francona said, then he'll throw another side session before starting Tuesday.
"He's ready to go," Francona said.
Kazmir gets MRI in Cleveland as team heads to Tampa
ST. PETERSBURG -- Left-hander Scott Kazmir was supposed to conclude his long journey back to the Majors this weekend in Tampa Bay, back where his big league career began in 2004. Instead, Kazmir is waiting for the Indians back in Cleveland.
Kazmir, who will be placed on the disabled list Saturday with a right rib cage strain, remained in Cleveland after undergoing an MRI on Thursday rather than travel with the Tribe to Tropicana Field.
"We could've brought him down here," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It just seemed like kind of a long way to go for maybe one day [of work]. He can do everything back in Cleveland."
Francona said Kazmir, who was scheduled to make his first Major League start since 2011 on Saturday, is working with physical therapy consultant Jim Mehalik and will rejoin the team Monday, when the Indians return to Progressive Field for their home opener against the Yankees.
Kazmir has not been placed on the disabled list yet, but will be moved there before Trevor Bauer is called up to start Saturday's game against the Rays.