Goody, Anderson enjoy happy returns to Tribe

March 4th, 2019

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Goody and Cody Anderson have had their shares of injuries in their baseball careers, but both have officially returned to the mound.

Both tossed scoreless frames in the Indians’ 13-7 loss to the Royals on Sunday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark. It was the first time Goody has pitched in a game since May 3 (right elbow arthroscopy), while Anderson (Tommy John surgery) hadn't seen action since Sept. 28, 2016.

“It was just nice to see them on the mound,” manager Terry Francona said. “I thought Nick threw the ball free and easy, and his slider’s been really good from the moment he stepped on the mound. Now, we just have to get him some repetition. The same thing with Cody. Cody just needs to be on the five-day [routine], where he can throw a bullpen, pitch in a game, throw a bullpen. But this was a good first step for them.”

Anderson underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2017. Since then, he’s dealt with multiple setbacks that have kept the right-hander out longer than he could’ve imagined.

“After the first season, it got a lot harder after missing the first season,” Anderson said. “You just kind of watched every game and try to put yourself in that situation. When you do get the chance, go out there and do the best you can.”

Because he’s missed two full seasons, Anderson could hardly contain his excitement for his 2019 spring debut.

“The anticipation was probably a little harder than the game is,” Anderson said. “But just tried to keep it simple and try not to rush things, and try to throw strikes.”

The Indians enjoyed watching Anderson get into his uniform early Sunday morning for the afternoon contest.

“Cody had a longer time sidelined than me and he was ready at like 10 [a.m.]. He had his uniform on,” Goody said. “I wanted to do that, but I also need to control myself a little bit because I need to throw strikes. It was so much fun.”

They may have been out for different periods of time and sustained different injuries, but Goody and Anderson couldn’t have agreed more on one thing: It felt amazing to be back.

“You learn a lot about like what you can endure, what you can take, how much you can do,” Goody said. “If you’ve ever had anything ripped away from you, when you get it back it means that much more.”

Kipnis returns to lineup

Jason Kipnis has been out of the lineup for the past week due to tightness in his left hip flexor, but he was penciled back in at DH on Sunday. After going 2-for-2 in his first game, Kipnis kept his 1.000 spring batting average intact, going 2-for-2 with two doubles against the Royals.

“It’s been fine. It’s just one of those things, like I think they said, during the season I could play through it, but why right now?” Kipnis said. “Might as well get healthy.”

Kipnis took a few days to receive treatment early last week and he has been taking ground balls and batting practice as part of his normal routine. According to Francona, the plan will be for Kipnis to work out on Monday and play in Tuesday’s game against the White Sox.

Santana not likely in OF

With Jake Bauers making a move to left field to make room for Hanley Ramirez in the lineup, Francona said Carlos Santana will likely stay at first base rather than be an option in the outfield.

“I think right now Jake’s younger, he’s done it more,” Francona said. “I think we’re better situated trying to have one guy do it as opposed to two. If something happened during the season, I have no doubt Santana would come up and say, ‘I’ll go out there.’ That’s what we’re used to with him.”

Chang to get looks at second

On Sunday, Yu Chang got the start at second base, which Francona said Chang will continue to do.

“The way he plans can kind of dictate maybe our plan,” Francona said. “But we want him to have some comfort at second, third and short just so if there’s a need, he doesn’t eliminate himself because he hasn’t played the position.”

Up next

The Indians will travel to Peoria Stadium on Monday to take on the Padres at 3:10 p.m. ET. Right-hander Shane Bieber will start against San Diego lefty Joey Lucchesi.