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Smoke signals

• When it comes to constructing a bench, Francona said his philosophy "probably goes with who you have." What Francona has is a slew of players -- Ryan Raburn, Mike Aviles and Elliot Johnson, among others -- who can handle multiple positions in both the infield and outfield.

"I love the idea that guys are versatile. That's important," Francona said. "The more guys can move around and not hurt you defensively, the better off you are. Aviles can play short, second, third, left and right. That's good. But again, with the moving around, you have to have guys that can not only move around, but they have to be able to play the position."

• Francona carried eight relievers in his bullpen for much of last season, and had even more after rosters expanded in September. That has led to questions about whether the manager plans on carrying 13 pitchers (eight relievers) or 12 pitchers (seven relievers) when the regular season begins.

"I would love to go with 13," Francona said. "I don't think we're going to be able to do that, but the more you have in the bullpen, the better."

• For the time being, Carlos Santana has put his catching gear to the side and is working exclusively at third base for the Indians. Santana has played first at times over the past few seasons, but Francona said Cleveland is not too worried about getting him reps at that position right now.

"If he can handle third," Francona said, "he can certainly put a bigger glove on and go over there and catch it."

• With seven minutes left in regulation in the women's hockey Olympic gold-medal game between the United States and Canada, Axford (a Canadian) declared that there was "plenty of time" for his country to make a comeback. Canada then erased a 2-0 deficit in the final minutes and took home the gold in overtime.

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