Former Cardinal Phelps ready to step up for the Cleveland Indians

Guthrie throws three innings for the Orioles Sunday

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

Cord Phelps leaned over the railing near the Cleveland Indians' dugout, signed a few autographs and chatted with a couple of people.

He played an inning at second base and was the last player to make the walk across the field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to the visiting clubhouse underneath the center field wall.

Phelps, a former Stanford star, was wearing number '73' and he was playing with a major-league baseball team.

Phelps is with the Indians this spring with a chance to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

The infielder was a third round draft pick of the Indians in 2008 and has steadily risen within the organization. He batted a combined .308 between Double-A and Triple-A last year, with eight home runs and 54 RBI.

"It's been a lot of fun getting sonme at bats and getting a few reps at second and third," Phelps said after the Indians lost to the Colorado Rockies, 3-1, in an exhibition game Sunday. "I'm learning from the older guys."

He started his professional career in Rookie League. A year later he was playing at the high Single-A level.

"I feel like, at every level, I've learned something," Phelps said. "It's not easy and I have to keep working hard."

Phelps, who was born at Stanford Hospital and grew up in Woodside before his family moved to Santa Barbara, had a huge year for the Cardinal in 2008, when the team reached the College World Series.

Phelps hit all 13 of his career home runs that year and finished his career with a .308 batting average and 91 RBI. He was even better in the NCAA tournament, hitting .360 with a pair of home runs and nine RBI in 13 games.

Among his Stanford teammates were Jason Castro, Toby Gerhart and current catcher Zach Jones, then a third baseman.


Jeremy Guthrie on his outing Sunday.

Chris Carter drives in a run against the Philadelphia Phillies.

John Hester doubles home a run for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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