Francona not naming Kluber Opening Day starter yet

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jason Kipnis reflected on last year's World Series run and looked ahead to the 2017 season. Raindrops and more inclement weather pounded the Phoenix area shortening the Indians' Sunday workout. And then Tribe skipper Terry Francona hinted that due to Corey Kluber's heavy playoff workload last season and an easing into spring camp this year, it may prevent the club's ace from being the Opening Day starter April 3 in Texas.

Baseball is back.

While the weather has not cooperated the last two days, it's been busy at the player development complex for the defending American League Champions this week. On top of meetings, physicals and initial workouts, much of which were forced indoors this weekend, the Indians have had their fair share of news recently.

On Sunday afternoon, Francona mentioned it may be a possibility that if Kluber does not feel he is ready to open the 2017 season on April 3 in Arlington, when the Indians open the season against the Texas Rangers he would completely understand and work around that. Ultimately the decision will likely come down to how Kluber feels.

The Indians have opted to ease in several pitchers this spring, especially guys that had increased workloads in the club's run up to Game 7 of the World Series. 

Francona mentioned that while he understands Opening Day is a big deal for fans, there will be a lot at stake during the course of the 2017 baseball season.

As for the rest of the club, poor weather conditions for the second-straight day forced most of the baseball activities indoors and made for an abbreviated workout session. The weather forecast for the Phoenix area is supposed to improve, but the last 48 hours have uncharacteristically been filled with gray, overcast skies and plenty of rain.

The Indians are slated to workout Monday morning at 11:30 am ET at the club's player development complex. Workouts are open and free for fans in the Goodyear area to come watch.

The Tribe opens their Cactus League exhibition schedule on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Goodyear Ballpark against the Cincinnati Reds. First pitch is set for 3:05 pm ET and can be heard on Newsradio WTAM 1100.

- Nick Camino

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