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Indians Monday Game Thread: Carrasco out to claim that fifth spot

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The Tribe face-off against the Reds this afternoon, on a day when the major league roster is really starting to take shape.

Tony Plush coming to an Opening Day near you!
Tony Plush coming to an Opening Day near you!

The Indians are set to battle the Reds this Monday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 ET. The game will be televised on MLB.TV through Fox Sports Ohio.

Carlos Carrasco is set to start for the Tribe in what may be his final chance this spring to convince the club he has what it takes to claim that much-desired fifth spot in the rotation. Whilst he hasn't been terrible on the mound, he hasn't really been remarkable either. With the news that Aaron Harang is out of the running (he is now a free agent according to Jordan Bastian) and Trevor Bauer has been optioned to Triple-A Columbus, the race now comes down to Carrasco and Josh Tomlin, with the loser likely finding a place waiting for them in the bullpen.

Alfredo Simon will take the mound for Cincinnati. He looks set to be the Reds' fifth starter, so it's a battle of the back-end rotation guys this afternoon.

*EDIT* News has come through that the Indians aren't having a DH after all, since the Reds are the "home" team. So no Nick Swisher in the lineup anymore and Carrasco will bat as the pitcher in the ninth spot. New lineup follows:

Today's starting lineup:

1) Michael Brantley (LF)

2) Jason Kipnis (2B)

3) Yan Gomes (C)

4) Ryan Raburn (1B)

5) Asdrubal Cabrera (SS)

6) David Murphy (RF)

7) Lonnie Chisenhall (3B)

8) Nyjer Morgan (CF)

9) Carlos Carrasco (SP)

It was announced earlier that Michael Bourn will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list (hamstring), so today we get to see Nyjer Morgan start in center field, a position he could find himself playing on Opening Day if everything goes to plan. I suppose Brantley could play there instead to open the season and Terry Francona could put somebody else in left field, but it looks likely that Morgan will find himself patrolling center from the very start of the season.

Lonnie Chisenhall also found out today that he'll be on the Opening Day roster and this afternoon marks his third straight start at third base. It looks increasingly likely he'll be the starter, with Santana and Aviles likely to spot him once or twice a week.