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Venable in Indians uniform; Uribe up next

MLB.com @MLBastian

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A pair of roster reinforcements were on site at the Indians' complex on Saturday morning, though only one was there in an official capacity.

Outfielder Will Venable was in uniform and took part in Cleveland's Saturday workout after putting the final touches on his non-roster Minor League contract one day earlier. Veteran third baseman Juan Uribe, who has agreed to a one-year Major League contract with the Tribe, was at the Indians' spring headquarters to undergo a physical exam.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A pair of roster reinforcements were on site at the Indians' complex on Saturday morning, though only one was there in an official capacity.

Outfielder Will Venable was in uniform and took part in Cleveland's Saturday workout after putting the final touches on his non-roster Minor League contract one day earlier. Veteran third baseman Juan Uribe, who has agreed to a one-year Major League contract with the Tribe, was at the Indians' spring headquarters to undergo a physical exam.

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"He's going through his battery of physicals and things like that," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Uribe. "When he gets through with that, we'll be more than happy to talk about him. I think we just need to get through that first."

Uribe projects to be Cleveland's starter at third base, while Venable enters camp with a chance to compete for one of the handful of outfield jobs available. Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff noted that the team has been in talks with Venable for several weeks, but the outfielder was initially hesitant to sign a non-roster contract with a team.

"It's new for me, for sure," Venable said. "At the same time, in talking to guys around here and talking to Tito, the whole idea of a non-roster, roster guy goes out the window as soon as you step in here. I've got the Indians on my chest. I'm an Indian now, and I'm just going to go out there and do everything I can to compete and help this team win."

Other items of note from Saturday:

• Starters Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin and Cody Anderson were among the pitchers who faced batters in their first live batting-practice sessions of Spring Training. Swinging was optional for the hitters, who are beginning to get their timing down at this early stage in camp. Live BP workouts will continue on Sunday morning.

"We don't do a lot of the live BP, just because it is for the pitchers," Francona said. "I thought the hitters did a really good job of not just mailing it in, because that's not fun for any hitter. The pitchers, the ones I saw, all looked healthy and crisp and good. And, from all the reports all over the field, everything was fine."

Tweet from @MLBastian: Corey Kluber was among the pitchers to throw their first live BP sessions today. More photos coming later. pic.twitter.com/VXHgpul2fz

• Outfielder Collin Cowgill missed 84 games last season due to a sprained right wrist, but he has been pain-free for a while now. One change that has helped has been switching to a specialized bat, which has an axe-style knob. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia suggested that Cowgill try the bat after his hand issues.

"The same doctor that I went to in Phoenix is the same one Dustin Pedroia had," Cowgill said. "The doctor put Dustin and I in touch after the All-Star break. He gave me a couple of his bats with this handle. He said, 'Try this, it takes some of the pain away in your swing.' Every swing since he's given it to me, I've used this bat with no pain."

Tweet from @MLBastian: A look at unique bat knob used by Collin Cowgill. Takes some pressure off bottom hand. Pedroia pointed him to it. pic.twitter.com/mULZOfmaeu

• Francona indicated that left fielder Michael Brantley (right shoulder) is "progressing really well" in his hitting program. To this point, Brantley has been limited to hitting off a tee, but the manager said the outfielder should be moving up to soft toss in the next few days.

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

Cleveland Indians, Juan Uribe, Will Venable