Spring Training Notes 2/17: Encarnacion arrives

Physicals were conducted for all position players on Friday from the Cleveland Indians spring training complex in Goodyear, AZ. Among the new arrivals was Edwin Encarnacion, the biggest free agent signing in the history of the franchise. The IBI's John Alfes details information about the club's newest slugger, Josh Tomlin and Nick Swisher...

Friday morning marked the arrival of all position players on the Cleveland Indians roster. Headlined by Edwin Encarnacion, the Tribe's medical staff performed physicals and manager Terry Francona held his annual one-on-one meetings in preparation for Saturday's full squad workout.

Along with Encarnacion, storylines regarding Josh Tomlin and Nick Swisher were also brought to attention.

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- For the first time, Encarnacion swung a bat while sporting a Tribe uniform. After losing to the Indians in the 2016 ALCS as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, the 34-year-old made the decision to come to Cleveland by signing a three-year contract with an option for the 2020 season included. All staff and players provided him with a warm welcome on Friday.

"I made the decision to come here because here I have the opportunity to win the World Series," said Encarnacion. "They have great, young talented players here. We have a lot of opportunity to be in the World Series again and win it."

Encarnacion was spotted hitting indoor batting practice with his fellow countryman Carlos Santana before calling it a day. 

"I want to feel like part of the family," Encarnacion said. "I'm going to keep trying to get to know all my teammates and play around, workout and everything."

- Despite taking the loss in Game 6 of the World Series, Tomlin talked at length about his ability to handle the pressure of pitching in the postseason and how he plans to move forward in 2017.

"I don't think the moment really crept up on any of us," said Tomlin after posting a 1.13 WHIP in the playoffs and earning two wins in ALDS Game 3 and ALCS Game 2. "You earn the right to have that kind of pressure. "

"I think we have the group of guys to not get content on what happened last year. I think we all know it's not just going to happen, we have to have the same mentality we had last year and it starts on day one."

- Prior to Encarnacion, Swisher was one of the largest off-season acquisitions in the history of the organization with a four-year deal worth $56-million before the 2013 campaign. At 36-years-old, Swisher officially decided to hang up his cleats and retire from professional baseball. He finished his career with a .249 batting average, 249 home runs, 803 RBIs and a World Series ring amid his tenure with the New York Yankees in 2009.

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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