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'Like old times': Sandy Alomar Jr. returns home

MLB.com @MLBastian

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- When the Indians arrived in Puerto Rico, Sandy Alomar Jr.'s first priority was to plan a trip to the southern section of the island to visit his parents. He had not been home to Salinas since Hurricane Maria to see the damage inflicted on their home.

Alomar made the hour-plus commute south of San Juan during Monday's off-day and was able to spend time with his parents, sister and niece. The Indians' first-base coach -- and 20-year veteran of the Major Leagues -- noted that his mother cooked chicken, rice and beans for dinner.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- When the Indians arrived in Puerto Rico, Sandy Alomar Jr.'s first priority was to plan a trip to the southern section of the island to visit his parents. He had not been home to Salinas since Hurricane Maria to see the damage inflicted on their home.

Alomar made the hour-plus commute south of San Juan during Monday's off-day and was able to spend time with his parents, sister and niece. The Indians' first-base coach -- and 20-year veteran of the Major Leagues -- noted that his mother cooked chicken, rice and beans for dinner.

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"Like old times," Alomar said with a smile on Tuesday.

:: Puerto Rico Series coverage ::

Like millions of people around Puerto Rico, the Alomars lost power for a considerable amount of time in the wake of the hurricane. There was also damage, but not to the extent of other homes in the region. Alomar delayed his trip home as to avoid giving his family "one more person to deal with" in the aftermath of the chaos, but he noted that his parents were more fortunate than others in the region.

"I had the chance to see some of the devastation they went through," Alomar said. "They're doing great. We were not affected as much in our homes as other people were. Our home was prepared for high winds and stuff like that. We were fortunate to have that, but some of the people in our town lost a lot of things. A lot of roofs. There was no power, no traffic lights. It was a little chaotic at times, so it's very hard to organize people when you don't have power or communication."

Like Indians players Francisco Lindor and Roberto Perez -- also born in Puerto Rico -- Alomar said he has looked forward to the two-game series against the Twins at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

"This is a fun thing," Alomar said. "This is a different magnitude, especially after the World Baseball Classic. Our young guys have really brought a lot of joy and enthusiasm to the island."

Video: Lindor hosts clinic at his old grammar school

Quotable
"Seeing the kids, the smiles on their faces, seeing them running around the same field I grew up running around, and seeing them all sweaty and all full of dirt, that's how I was. The shoes they're filling today, those are basically the shoes I was in back in the day. It was a lot of goosebumps." -- Lindor, on visiting his old grammar school in Gurabo, P.R., on Monday's off-day

Worth noting

• During Monday's off-day, Chris Antonetti, the Indians' president of baseball operations, and general manager Mike Chernoff traveled to the Dominican Republic to visit the team's academy in Boca Chica. They also had an opportunity to tour the new academy that is under construction in the same region.

"It was the first day of Spring Training down there," Chernoff said. "It was great to just see the staff and get to see our players down there."

Josh Tomlin, who is Cleveland's fifth starter, will pitch out the bullpen for the next several games. Barring any unexpected developments, the right-hander would be in line to return to the rotation for a start against the Cubs on April 24 in Cleveland.

"He can handle it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It'll give us an extra arm while we're down here and not have everyone going eight or nine days [without pitching]."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

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