Francisco Lindor, Six Others Invited To Spring Training

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The Cleveland Indians invited seven internal non-roster players to Spring Training this season, including top prospect Francisco Lindor for the second straight year. Lindor will join catcher Jake Lowery, pitcher Will Roberts, infielder Ryan Rohlinger and outfielders James Ramsey, Jordan Smith and Tyler Naquin in the Indians’ big-league camp.

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There’s a variety of reasons for a player to be given an invite to spring training, and for a few of these players, the invitation is clear: the Indians probably believe Lindor, Naquin and Ramsey can potentially make the club out of spring training, but the likelier case is that this is to help the trio get a taste of being around the big-league club because there’s a solid chance all three could be factors for the 2015 team before the end of the season.

For players such as Lowery, Roberts, Smith and Rohlinger, the invites are likely to provide the team some depth, particularly early on in camp, and those four would seem to have outside shots (at best) of helping the Indians in 2015.

MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian provided a current list of non-roster invites on Twitter:

Lindro and Naquin were both invited to camp last season as well, encouraging signs for the Indians’ first-round picks in the 2011 and 2012 drafts, respectively. While they both have a chance to make the club out of spring training, they will both likely start the season with AAA Columbus. Bastian reported the Indians want to get Lindor some more development at AAA after only 38 games in Columbus last season, and Naquin’s promising season was ended in late June after breaking his left hand, so both would probably have to go gangbusters in Goodyear to make the Opening Day roster.

Ramsey was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Justin Masterson last season, and the 25-year old split time between AA and AAA. Ramsey could also see big-league action in 2015, although like Lindor and Naquin, it’s extremely unlikely he makes the Opening Day roster.

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