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Indians set to play it safe with Moss, Swisher

Both players enter spring camp coming off surgical procedures

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians will continue to take a cautious approach with Brandon Moss and Nick Swisher when full-squad workouts begin this week. Manager Terry Francona noted that both players will be limited in what they can do in the early stage of practices.

Both Moss and Swisher are returning from surgery.

"Every morning, the training staff will come in to our 8 [a.m. MT] meeting," Francona said, "and they'll explain what they can do that day -- the amount of volume, the intensity and things like that -- and we'll follow it. And that'll be one of the things we talk to both Brandon and Swish on in the one-on-ones, about trying to get healthy and not pushing for an artificial deadline.

"We're going to go off of them so, when they do come back, they can be productive and will have a chance to stay out there and not be limping around."

Moss, who was acquired from the A's in a trade on Dec. 8, had surgery on his right hip on Oct. 23, but he has since been cleared for some hitting and throwing activities. The 31-year-old outfielder and first baseman has also started a running program, but he is not expected to be cleared for games until around mid-March.

Video: Bastian on Swisher returning to form in 2015

The 34-year-old Swisher had surgery performed on both knees on Aug. 20, and he is also expected to be sidelined from games until mid-March. Swisher, who also plays right field and first base, has been cleared for full hitting and throwing work, but he is also on a gradual running program.

"He's not ready to do everything, or at least at full speed," Francona said of Swisher. "We have a good gauge of where he's at. When you get outside and start doing baseball activities, I think it'll give you a better gauge of where he's at in those baseball activities."

Here are some more notes and quotes from Sunday:

• There were no bullpen sessions for pitchers on Sunday, leaving defensive drills as the emphasis for the morning's workout. Defense is a top priority for the Indians this spring, but that does not only apply to the position players. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway said defensive improvement is also being stressed for the club's pitchers.

"That's going to be a big stress throughout camp for everybody," Callaway said. "We're more focused on that, because if we're going to expect guys to catch the ball behind us, we've got to be able to pick to first. It's kind of unfair to go, 'Oh, they can't catch a ground ball,' when you can't do your job on the mound. We want to make sure that position players are aware that we're working as hard as we can for them and, in turn, we're asking the same."

• Sunday's defensive drills were divided into stations on four of the practice diamond's at the team's complex. On the field for bunt defense practice for the pitchers, Francona served as the baserunner at second base. The manager second-guessed that decision deep into the workout.

"Man, I'm hurting. I stood out there for an hour and I'm hurting," Francona said to an eruption of laughter. "I wanted to be there, because I wanted to make sure we ran through the bunt plays like I wanted to, but I think I'll let somebody else be the runner [from now on]. I can't move."

• During the bullpen sessions early in camp, Callaway said the main point of emphasis is on the height of pitches. Once there is consistency with keeping the ball down in the strike zone, then pitchers can begin concentrating more on the movement of pitches. As he has done in the past two springs, Callaway also plans on having leaderboards posted in the clubhouse for first-pitch strikes and 1-1 strikes from Cactus League games.

Video: Outlook: Brantley a top option for power and speed

• All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley was among the notable arrivals in camp on Sunday, when position players were expected to report to Arizona. Francona noted that all of the team's players have reported. Position players will run through physicals with the medical staff and individual meetings with Francona and general manager Chris Antonetti on Monday morning.

• Pitchers scheduled to throw bullpen sessions on Monday include Austin Adams, Cody Anderson, Shawn Armstrong, Trevor Bauer, Charles Brewer, Carlos Carrasco, Bruce Chen, Kyle Crockett, Nick Hagadone, Jeff Manship, Nick Maronde, Ryan Merritt, Danny Salazar and Anthony Swarzak.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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