CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Cody Anderson, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, will not pitch in the majors again until April 27th at the earliest.

How he returns is still up in the air.

This author, and others, have suggested that Anderson could be the bullpen piece the Cleveland Indians need after losing Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith in the off-season. Manager Terry Francona does not necessarily see it that way.

Though he did not rule Anderson out as a bullpen addition, Francona told reporters in Goodyear, Arizona of an exchange with the righty in which the skipper saw him as a potential ‘starting option.’ That point was made while citing the team’s withering starting depth.

Because lefty Ryan Merritt is out of options, he could either be in the bullpen or off the team by the time Anderson returns.

Party On

Mike Napoli’s minor league deal was made official by the Indians on Wednesday.

Francona made it clear to first basemen Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso that Napoli will not challenge them for their roster spots. The 36-year-old will be used as injury insurance and a clubhouse boost while he demonstrates his skills to other teams.

Bumps, bruises, and the like

Injury updates from Indians camp are as follows:

  • Outfielder Brandon Guyer has resumed some baseball activities, including non-contact swinging. He will try out an axe-handle bat this spring to try and curb his wrist issues, according to reports.
  • Right-handed starter Danny Salazar has not yet advanced to long toss while dealing with inflammation in his right shoulder. He is currently on his own throwing program.
  • Outfielder Michael Brantley is near a more concrete timetable to increase activity, completing ‘every task aside from agility drills’ according to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel.
  • Abraham Almonte left Tuesday’s game with a left shin contusion after he was hit by a pitch.