The third base competition is particularly interesting because it involves a veteran and a player who has yet to spend a full season at the major league level. The veteran is 32-year-old Jack Hannahan. The young player is Lonnie Chisenhall, 23.
The two players are separated by more than only the nine-year gap in their ages. Hannahan is a defensive specialist, while Chisenhall will attempt to win the third base job in spring training with his bat.
Manager Manny Acta said it will be an honest competition. According to Acta, neither Hannahan nor Chisenhall began spring training with a definite advantage.
Both players, at their best, offer intriguing potential to the starting lineup. For Hannahan, it's his defense, which was Gold Glove caliber last year. The importance of Hannahan's defense cannot be underestimated, given the makeup of the Indians' projected pitching staff.
That staff is heavy with sinkerball pitchers. Those pitchers figure to produce a lot of groundballs, which the Indians' infielders need to turn into outs in order for the pitchers, and the team, to be successful.
In his half-season trial at third base last year as a rookie, Chisenhall was very shaky defensively. However, Chisenhall's bat is projected to be much stronger than Hannahan's, and the potential boost to the lineup that Chisenhall's bat could bring likewise cannot be underestimated.
The Indians last year were one of the weakest teams in the American League offensively. They were also unable to add the impact bat to the lineup that they had hoped to add during the off-season.
Chisenhall figures to bring more offensive production to the lineup than Hannahan, but whether Chisenhall's superior bat will be enough to trump his inferior glove remains to be seen.
Acta said the decision at third base probably will go down to the final days of spring training.
Indians Notes & Quotes
Hernandez was arrested in the Dominican Republic last month, and placed on baseball's restricted list. Police also say he is 31, three years older than he said.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti told ESPN.com that the team is monitoring any developments and remains "in touch with his representatives."
Carmona will earn $7 million this year, and the Indians hold options for 2013 at $9 million and 2014 at $12 million. The right-hander won 13 games in 2010, and was expected to be part of the starting rotation this season.
"I feel way better than I did early last year (in spring training)," said Jimenez, who sustained an injury to his pitching thumb in his second spring start last year. "Getting through the second game healthy this year is a good sign."