Spring Training Day 1: Pitchers and Catchers Report, World Rejoices

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Nothing makes you want to run outside and grab a glove more than hearing those four little words: pitchers and catchers report. However, if you do that in Cleveland, you had either have on extra layers or be ready to catch snowballs, not baseballs. Luckily for them, the Tribe is in Arizona where the temperature and the news are far from negative.

All of the required players (again, pitchers and catchers) have reported to the area, but most of the roster has shown up already according to MLB.com beat writer Jordan Bastian.

It’s common for young players and those coming back from injury to report early, but a team like the Indians, with so few roster competitions and playing time battles to be fought having most of its veterans already in place is a good sign. Nick Swisher, Brandon Moss, Corey Kluber, Yan Gomes, Jason Kipnis and Zach Walters (among many others) are all said to be in attendance.

Danny Salazar has been in Arizona weeks, preparing for the season earlier than his normal. The Indians management felt that he has a history of coming into spring training unprepared and hitting his stride mid season, which is accurate if you were to look at his numbers. It is a small sample size, 9 starts in the 1st half and 21 in the second, but the numbers are glaring. An ERA of 5.01, WHIP of 1.48 with only 54 strike outs in 46.2 IP are numbers that remind you of all his dismissals to Triple A Columbus, but when you take a quick look at his numbers in the second half you realize the Indians might be on to something and you remember the promise that Salazar brings. In the second half (21 starts) Salazar has an ERA of 3.43, WHIP of 1.23 with 131 strike outs in 115.1 IP.

Nick Swisher is already in camp and taking part in batting practice. Swisher is coming off surgery to both knees and feels like he has something to prove this year and as always is very optimistic about the team: “I’m just trying to set a tone,” Swisher said of arriving early. “This has the chance to be a very, very special year for this organization. When you have those opportunities, you have to take them, because opportunities like this don’t come along all the time. Every team, every year, it’s different guys. This year, we have such a great mix.” (h/t to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, read more of his interview here).

While there is still a long way to go to Opening Day, pitchers and catchers day is a glimpse of hope on the horizon for most teams. They all start off new, some with championship aspirations, but all with hope. Pitchers and catchers day is a sign to all that baseball is just around the corner and for the Indians fans out there, it signals that this team is ready and raring to jump out the gate.

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