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Smoke signals

• Indians right-hander Frank Herrmann threw off a mound in a live batting practice session on Saturday, marking his first such workout since undergoing Tommy John surgery last spring. Herrmann heads into camp among a large group of relievers vying for a spot in the bullpen.

"I was happy for Frank. It's been a long road back," Francona said. "He looks strong. This is another step in his development and process coming back. He faced hitters on the field. There's going to be a gradual progression to when he gets into a game. But he's strong and I was thrilled for him."

• Indians Minor Leaguer Tony Wolters, who is in big league camp this spring, began a transition from the middle infield to catching last season. Francona has had a chance to see Wolters over the past several days and said the prospect fits right in with the catchers.

"A left-handed-hitting catcher, you can make a pretty good living doing that," Francona said. "All the attributes he had in the middle infield are carrying over to the catching. ... The type of things we knew about him as a person have really helped his transition."

• Francona said there is never a handshake agreement with a non-roster invitee about making the Opening Day roster at the end of the spring. The manager said, if anything, he lets players in that group know that making the team could be a difficult task.

"I probably paint the picture a little bleaker to everybody I talk to," Francona said. "I don't ever want to lead somebody on. ... That's the last thing I ever want to do, is lie to somebody or get them here under false pretenses. So when I'm talking to them, I probably make the situation look a little less than it is."

• The full squad was required to report to Spring Training by Saturday and Francona said that he has not been alerted of any late arrivals. Physicals for position players are scheduled for Sunday, when Francona and Antonetti will also meet with each player to discuss goals for the spring and season ahead.

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