Moss looks forward to being part of Indians’ lineup

Brandon Moss is ready to find his place in the Indians lineup in 2015 and believes the team has the talent to compete.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND — Brandon Moss got to meet most of his new teammates for the first time on Friday as most of the Indians are in town for Tribe Fest this weekend.

Moss was acquired from the Athletics on Dec. 8 and wasn’t surprised about the trade since it was widely rumored and discussed for five days. Moss got the call that he was traded to Cleveland while undergoing rehab from hip surgery.

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"If I was going to get traded I wanted to be traded to a good team with a great clubhouse and that happened," Moss said in his first meeting with Cleveland reporters.

Moss had hip surgery on Oct. 21 after being bothered by it during the second half of last season. Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville performed the surgery, which was to repair a torn labrum and clean up some cartilage instead of having to get a more invasive microfracture procedure.

When asked how his rehab is going, Moss said there haven’t been any setbacks so far and that things are progressing well. He will begin doing some swinging this week before progressing to more hitting activities.

Moss said he will get to Goodyear, Ariz., on Feb. 1. Whether or not he will be ready for the April 6 opener at Houston remains to be seen.

Added Moss: "It’s important to be healthy throughout the season. At the same time my goal is to be ready for Opening Day. That should be everyone’s goal and be there for 162 games. I’m not afraid to say that. At the same time what is best for the team and myself is to be 100 percent."

Among other matters that Moss touched on Friday:

On hitting in the middle of the Indians’ lineup: "I’m pumped about it. Obviously there are a lot of names in this lineup and they’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve never been part of a lineup that has been this deep and has the potential to have so many good players. I’m excited about it."

On the prospects of being healthy the entire season: "I’m excited to see what I can do. I think 2013 was a good year for me and last year all year I was playing through it and it gradually got worse. I’m not going to go out and put the pressure on myself. If I’m happy and healthy I can have an excellent year.

"When you are a part of every team you look to find your niche and role. I know I am a better hitter than I showed at the end of the year. My thing is driving the ball and the second half was not good for me. To be part of a lineup and supply power it takes the pressure off other things. To be brought in and do the thing I do best is exciting."

On his view of the Indians pitching staff after facing them last season: "Obviously there are arms. They all have velocity. Every guy on this staff has a great breaking ball and you usually don’t see that. That adds to something you have to worry about as a hitter. If it is a guy with a fastball and changeup you can sit in-between speeds and go the other way with a fastball or pull the offspeed but when it is a breaking ball it is an equalizer."

On his expectations for 2015: "Hopefully to do what I am capable of doing. Last year before everything started to go south I was figuring out my approach to all pitchers. Now it’s just a game of adjustments. I’m not going to put numbers on it but I can have a special year especially coming to this park."

On all the trades Oakland made this offseason: "They go through that every once in awhile. They are always keeping the roster in flow and make it diverse and move around a lot. Not that much of a shock. After we lost that wild-card game we knew there was going to be some turnover. You could see the writing on the wall. Honestly it was surprising to see the guys who got traded but I think from what I have read and seen the returns are pretty good. Billy (Beane) is very competitive and wants to win. He’s not afraid to try something new. We had three years there where we were a real good team but we never got past Game 5 of the ALDS. If you are the GM of a team that is getting more expensive but can’t get past that hump I can see going with a different dynamic. Last year we were pitching and power. This year they are probably going to be pitching, defense and situational hitting. I can see them competing.

"The Mariners last year were really good, the Angels are good and the Rangers are going to be healthy. That is going to be a tough division and at the same time that can help them because they are going to be beating up on each other. The wins probably will be in the low 80s but that might help. I think he saw the division that if he could remake the team they could be competitive. I think he did that."