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Spring Training Notes 2/14: Brantley slowly progressing through rehab

The first organized pitchers and catchers workout took place on Tuesday from the Cleveland Indians spring training complex in Goodyear, AZ. Although there was no news pertaining to the pitching staff, several storylines were addressed by manager Terry Francona. The IBI's John Alfes has the latest from big league camp...

Aside from the hiring of Grady Sizemore and signing of Chris Narveson, manager Terry Francona spoke with the media and addressed a variety of topics relating to his preseason speech, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes and Jason Giambi on Tuesday from Goodyear, AZ.

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- Coming off a season in which he only logged 11 games of MLB action, Brantley will be closely monitored with a rather conservative approach throughout his rehab process this spring. Currently, the 29-year-old is still hitting off a tee in his hitting progression.

"We're trying like crazy to not go too fast," said Francona. "We don't want to put him in a position that's unrealistic. It's a little bit hard because last year, the only time he really started to feel it was when he got into a game. So I think we need to reserve some enthusiasm."

- With day one of full squad workouts slated for Thursday, Francona has been planning his welcome speech and what he will say to his 2017 roster.

"I've been thinking about that for awhile now," Francona said. "I think the first one of the year is important. You're kind of laying the groundwork for what your team is going to be about and things like that."

"As proud as you are of what happened last year, we don't want to be the team that looks up in June and is still talking about last year. We'll probably talk about that a little bit - about being proud of what we did. But also this is a new team, even though there's so many guys that are back."

- Yan Gomes missed practice on Tuesday to spend time with his wife, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. The couple is expecting their second child in the coming days.

- Nothing has been made official, but Jason Giambi will reportedly be a guest instructor alongside Sizemore. The latter of the two former players' roles was defined in detail by the Tribe's skipper.

"When you have a guy of that stature, he's welcome to help wherever he can," said Francona in regards to Sizemore's outfield work with Brad Mills and Mark Budzinski at camp. "He won't be here all spring, but he knows he's welcome to help out when he's here and we're looking forward to it."

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.


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