Due to the World Baseball Classic and extended spring training, the Cleveland Indians have taken it slow with a slew of their primary pitchers.
Among this bunch is the club's ace in Corey Kluber, their closer in Cody Allen, and two other contributors in Bryan Shaw and Josh Tomlin.
Manager Terry Francona and staff released the target dates for each hurler's 2017 debut on Thursday.
- Both Allen and Shaw threw simulated games at the Tribe's spring training complex in Goodyear, AZ prior to Game 6 of the Cactus League.
"We're trying to lead up to those intense innings," said Allen to reporters. "I think what we want to do is we want to keep the amount of innings and everything about the same."
After throwing 24 combined innings in the 2016 postseason, the late-inning tandem has taken a back seat this spring to younger relievers competing for the final spot in the bullpen including Shawn Armstrong, Nick Goody and Joseph Colon.
- Similarly, Kluber and Allen will toss simulated outings on Friday in preparation for their Cactus League appearances on Mar. 6 (Kluber) against the San Francisco Giants and Mar. 9 (Allen) opposite the Los Angeles Angels.
"You can prepare all you want, but when you get on the mound and there's a game and fans and stuff, it's different," Francona said. "[Mickey Callaway] thought (Kluber) threw the ball really well. Same thing with Tomlin the other day in his."
- Michael Brantley has not experienced any setbacks since hitting on-field batting practice to close out the month of February. There is still no timetable for when Brantley will play in an organized game.
- The countdown to the weekend continues to tick for the healthy Brandon Guyer (hamstring). The platoon specialist has been a full participant at camp the past few days and is expected to play over the weekend.
- A mild right shoulder strain has kept Jason Kipnis sidelined after he received an MRI and cortisone shot on Sunday. The 29-year-old should take batting practice in an upcoming workout, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
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.