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Cleveland Indians Sunday News and Notes: Thinking about the Opening Day roster

With just over two weeks until Opening Day, the roster battles continue.

Although Nick Swisher is making progress, he'll still start the season on the DL
Although Nick Swisher is making progress, he'll still start the season on the DL
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday's Game

Jesus Aguilar powers Indians pasts Rockies - Let's Go Tribe

Aguilar breaks out as Tribe tops Rockies |

Danny Salazar throws more strikes in race for rotation spot with Cleveland Indians (photos, videos) |

The big star of the game was Jesus Aguilar, who blasted a two-run homer and also hit an RBI double. With Nick Swisher unlikely to start the season on the 25-man roster and Zach Walters out with an oblique injury, Aguilar has an opportunity to make the club, and the last couple days he's been impressive.

Danny Salazar pitched better after a disastrous start against Oakland last week. He did allow a home run, but otherwise was effective in four innings of work. At this point I think he's going to have to win back a spot in the rotation, but he still has some time on his side; he just can't have another meltdown.

Indians News

The DiaTribe: Lazy Sunday with the President, v.2015

Mark Shapiro talks about a number of subjects, including the status of the Progressive Field renovations, what Francisco Lindor needs to accomplish in the minors, and the recent Cuban free agent signings. There's lots of interesting responses in the interview, so be sure to check it out.

Swisher's recovery starts to pick up steam |

Nick Swisher still hasn't appeared in a Spring Training game of any sort, but at least he's starting to participate in baseball activities. Today he's going to run the bases without knee braces, and if that goes well, could play in some Minor League games next week. He's going to remain in Arizona after the Indians break camp, and probably the best-case scenario would have him go on a rehab assignment in mid-April with a return to the majors in early May.

Sean Casey has to wear it in Cleveland Indians dugout prank |

LGFT Sean Casey was back in camp yesterday, and although Alvaro Espinosa wasn't around, someone lost no time in sticking a cup (with bubblegum) to his cap.

Latest 25-man/40-man roster

(click here for embiggened version)

March 22 2015

At this point I still have Danny Salazar in the rotation, but that's a very tenuous spot. If Salazar finishes the spring with solid outings, he can make the club, but another outing like the one against Oakland and he'll be headed to Columbus. TJ House is the favorite for the other spot (vacated by Gavin Floyd), and Zach McAllister, who is making the club one way or the other, could start the season in the rotation instead of the bullpen. If it's McAllister and House in the rotation, that would leave open a spot for Bruce Chen or Anthony Swarzak as a longman/spot starter.

Nick Swisher is going to start the season on the DL, but perhaps the Indians go with an extra pitcher instead of replacing him with a position player. Tyler Holt would be the logical replacement if the Indians stay with a four-man bench, especially with Brandon Moss coming back from surgery. Jesus Aguilar would also make some sense, especially with the right-handed power he could provide on a roster that doesn't have much of it.

Kyle Crockett is day-to-day with "hamstring tightness", and shouldn't miss that much time.