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Early returns on Gavin Floyd look positive

Lacking John Axford, this year's Oscars just weren't the same for the Indians

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As I write this edition of N&N, I'm suffering through the Oscars and realizing baseball can't possibly come sooner. The only way to escape is by digging into all the day's MLB happenings:

Indians news & notes

Frazier won't get his Lofton-based wish fulfilled | - Tribe outfield prospect Clint Frazier invited legend Kenny Lofton to camp via Twitter to get his help in CF, but the front office confirmed that it won't be happening. Does this have anything to do with Kenny and Nick Swisher's beef from last year?

Floyd making strong first impression on Tribe | - Gavin Floyd was the Tribe's second "big" signing of the offseason, and is looking to make a rebound after an injury-shortened 2014 season. Early returns for Floyd seem promising. Mickey Callaway says Floyd is throwing so well, you'd never know he's a guy trying to come back from Tommy John surgery. A healthy Floyd could make a solid #2 to Corey Kluber, anchoring a volatile, young Tribe rotation with tons of potential.

Cleveland's success riding on young starters | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - Speaking of volatile, young starters, how much can we rely on the non-Kluber members of the Indians rotation? Bob Toth discusses the 2014 success of Danny Salazr, Carlos Carrasco and, to a lesser extent, Trevor Bauer, and looks at their potential for 2015.

What should we expect from Trevor Bauer? | Burning River Baseball - And speaking of everyone's favorite drone pilot, will we see a steady increase in command and effectiveness as we did last year, or will Trevor live *down* to what the projections systems are predicting? Kevin Gall argues Bauer made some serious strides in 2014, and there are plenty of reasons to hope he'll keep on getting better.

Indians have arms plenty from the left side | - While it's not yet settled that the Indians will open the season with an eight-man bullpen, there's a high probability they'll carry three lefties in the relief corps. Marc Rzepczynski, Nick Hagadone and Kyle Crockett seem to have their roles locked up, but there are others in contention.

Swisher and Moss in 'walk-don't-run' mode | - On Tuesday, everyone on the team will be running sprints to welcome them to spring. Everyone except Brandon Moss and Nick Swisher, because they're made of popsicle sticks and elmer's glue. Terry Francona, who ran bases during bunt drills, seems to be holding up better than the two Tribe sluggers, but all hope to be in shape for the season.

Could Lindor make the opening day roster? | Wahoo's On First - Magic 8-ball says "not Likely," but WOF examines the situation anyway, searching for reasons we could see Francisco Lindor in a Tribe uni this April.

McAllister is a two-way threat to make the pitching staff | - Zach McAllister is battling a handful of candidates for the fifth rotation spot but even if he misses out on that, he's got a great chance to be a meaningful part of the pitching staff. First off, he's out of options. Secondly, he had a pretty decent stint as a reliever during the second half last season.

Tidbits from around MLB