GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cleveland native Justine Siegal will fulfill a lifelong dream when she steps on a mound at the Indians' player development complex on Monday. Siegal will become the first woman to throw batting practive to a Major League team.
"I grew up wanting to be a Cleveland Indian. This is a dream come true," Siegal wrote on her MLBlog. "I want to show that baseball is a game for all and that both boys and girls love this game. My throwing BP is proof that dreams really can come true."
Siegal approached Indians general manager Chris Antonetti at the Winter Meetings to discuss the possibility of throwing batting practice to his club. It will become a reality on Monday morning, when she will face Minor League hitters with the chance to throw to some big league players as well.
Following her trip to Goodyear, Ariz., Siegal will head to Phoenix to throw batting practice against the Oakland A's on Feb. 23. During both BP sessions, Siegal will honor the memory of Christina Talyor Green -- the 9-year-old killed during January's shooting in Tucson, Ariz. -- by wearing Green's Little League memorial patch.
Siegal was the first woman to coach men's professional baseball, serving as a first-base coach for the Brockton Rox in 2009. She has spent three years as the only woman college baseball coach in the United States, working as an assistant coach for Springfield College from 2007-10. Siegal is the founder and director of Baseball For All.
Lofton to be guest instructor at Indians camp
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians will have a familiar face in camp next week. On Wednesday, the club announced that Kenny Lofton will join the Tribe as a guest instructor, assisting with baserunning techniques and working with outfielders.
Lofton, 43, will be a part of manager Manny Acta's staff for seven days, beginning Tuesday. As part of his new role with Cleveland -- a club he suited up for over parts of 10 big league seasons -- Lofton will also serve as an alumni ambassador for two weekends at Progressive Field in 2011.
Lofton was inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame in 2010. He had stints with the Tribe from 1992-96 and 1998-2001, and ended his 17-year career with the club in 2007. He is the franchise leader in stolen bases (452) and his 622 career steals rank 15th overall in baseball history.
In his career with the Indians, Lofton posted a .300 average with 244 doubles, 66 triples, 87 home runs, 518 RBIs and 975 runs scored (third most in club history). He led the American League in steals in each of the 1992-95 campaigns, was an All-Star five times and won four Gold Gloves as a center fielder from 1993-96.
Indians invite catcher Chen to camp
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians added catching prospect Chun Chen to their list of Spring Training non-roster invitees on Wednesday.
Chen increases the number of bodies expected in camp to 60 (40 rostered players and 20 non-roster invitees). Chen will give the Tribe six catchers in camp. Carlos Santana and Lou Marson are the only catchers currently on the 40-man roster. Luke Carlin, Paul Phillips and Juan Apodaca are also on hand as invitees.
Chen, 22, split the 2010 season between Class A Lake County and Class A (advanced) Kinston, hitting a combined .315 with 12 homers and 69 RBIs over 110 games. Chen -- a native of Taiwan -- was originally signed by Cleveland as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.