The Indians have tentatively set their 25-man roster, making some interesting choices ahead of the April 2 season opener at Toronto.
Scott Kazmir earned the fifth spot in the rotation, beating out Carlos Carrasco. However, Kazmir won’t be added until April 6 as Carrasco will stay with the team to serve a six-game suspension for a 2011 incident when he threw at Kansas City’s Billy Butler. Carrasco will be sent down to Triple-A Columbus on April 7.
Jason Giambi made the club in a bench role as DH, but he will start the season on the 15-day DL with a back injury, allowing the Indians to carry 13 pitchers. Former Erie SeaWolves and Detroit Tigers player Ryan Raburn (second base, third base, left field) also earned a bench spot. Raburn hit .359 this spring and beat out speedy Ezequiel Carrera for a bench spot.
Carrera and pitcher David Huff are out of options and will be traded or released. Also out are starter Daisuke Matsuzaka and reliever Matt Capps. Either or both could be signed for a minor league deal and start the year in Triple-A Columbus.
Here’s what the roster will look like for the opener:
CF Michael Bourn, LF Michael Brantley, 2B Jason Kipnis, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, 1B/RF Nick Swisher, C Carlos Santana, 1B/DH Mark Reynolds, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, RF Drew Stubbs
2B/3B/SS Mike Aviles, 2B/3B/LF Ryan Raburn, C Lou Marson
Starters: Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Myers, Zach McAllister and Carrasco (until Kazmir is activated April 6)
Relievers: Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano, Joe Smith, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Matt Albers, Rich Hill and Nick Hagadone.