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Yandy Diaz, Bradley Zimmer among eight prospects invited to Indians spring training

Non-roster spring training invites are for more than just relievers.

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Fall Stars Game Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians have invited eight internal players to spring training as non-roster invites, per’s Jordan Bastian.

Third baseman Yandy Diaz, first baseman Nellie Rodriguez, outfielders Greg Allen and Bradley Zimmer, infielders Eric Stamets and Ronny Rodriguez, and pitchers Josh Martin and Tyler Olson will have a chance to compete for a spot out of spring training.

Who knows what could happen in March, but I would not expect anyone besides Yandy Diaz to have a real shot at making the roster directly out of spring training, and even his chance is slight. Bradley Zimmer could eventually make it to the team in 2017, but he needs to prove he can perform consistently without striking out in a third of his at-bats. Greg Allen, while he would fit a major need in the outfield, is still a year or two away from contributing in the MLB — though it is certainly nice to see him have the chance to competing.

Nellie Rodriguez could eventually be a future power bat in Cleveland, but he would be redundant on a roster that currently sports Carlos Santana and the $60 million man, Edwin Encarnacion. Eric Stamets, acquired from the Los Angeles in 2015 for third baseman David Murphy, briefly made an appearance in Triple-A last season, but he didn’t look comfortable there. Even if he was ready to play on the Indians, he is blocked by Erik Gonzalez and some guy by the name of Francisco Lindor.

This group of prospects will join recent external additions (or re-additions) Travis Banwart, Steve Delabar, Erik Kratz, Guillermo Quiroz, Chris Colabello, Michael Martinez, and Daniel Robertson when the Indians begin spring training in March.