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NEOSI Indians Spring Training Roundup: March 3

GOODYEAR, Ariz.– The Tribe’s five-game win streak in Cactus League play came to an end on Saturday as they fell to the San Francisco Giants, 13-4.

**The Giants tallied up 19 hits, including five homers. In the loss, Josh Tomlin made his second start of the spring. He gave up five earned runs on six hits in two innings of work. Offensively, Edwin Encarnacion recorded a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Check out Paul Hoynes’ recap at cleveland.com.

**In tomorrow’s action against the Milwaukee Brewers, Mike Napoli is expected to make his spring debut. According Zack Meisel of The Athletic, he will serve as the Tribe’s DH.

**Also from Hoynes, a nice story on Jose Ramirez, and whether or not he considers himself to be a “celebrity”:

“Ask the fans in the Dominican about that. Or ask the fans up here,” Ramirez said through an interpreter at the Indians’ spring-training site in Goodyear, Ariz. “I don’t know.”

But when he went home to the Dominican Republic after last season, he couldn’t go anywhere in his hometown of Bani without crowds of children following him.

“It’s always like that,” said Ramirez. “When I go back home the kids go crazy when they see me.”

Now for the real question, do any of them walk like Ramirez? Before anyone knew what kind of player Ramirez would be, they knew about his walk. The 5-9 Ramirez walked into the Indians clubhouse in 2013 like he’d been there for 10 years. Head up, chin and chest out, he was the epitome of no fear and no worries.

So have his young fans copied his walk?

Ramirez shook his head and said, “Yeah, they’ve got their flow going.”

**Michael Brantley may not be game ready yet, but he doesn’t feel rushed. On Friday, he went through his first day of agility defensive drills, a big step forward. Jack Magruder writes:

Inasmuch as Brantley already has been a full participant in batting practice and cage work, he appears that much closer to returning to form after undergoing right ankle surgery on Oct. 18.

“Just more turns and cuts, progressing where I need to be,” Brantley said. “All is going well. I’m progressing every day. That’s all I can ask. I’m putting in the work that I need to get back on the field and compete with this great group of guys in this locker room.”

Brantley’s schedule going forward includes more agility work and an increase in baserunning and outfield drills.

**Finally, over at The Athletic Zack Meisel and TJ Zuppe did a Diamond Dialogue talking about how the Indians should evaluate players involved in spring roster battles. There are no easy answers to this one.

Ashley is a former basketball player who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and high school sports for NEO Sports Insiders. She also covers the Cavs for SB Nation's Fear The Sword. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of John Carroll University and previously worked in political journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleyBastock42

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