Niebla set to start spring training in the big leagues

Calexico native Ruben Niebla begins spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., as the Cleveland Indians assistant pitching coach. COURTESY PHOTO

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — With apologies to Jan. 1, Tuesday was the first day of the New Year for many in the pro baseball ranks — the day the offseason was flipped to “on” — with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training for 16 out of 30 MLB teams (the remainder of teams scheduled reporting dates on Feb. 10, 12 or 14).

Included in those 16 reporting on Tuesday were the Cleveland Indians, the longtime employer of the Valley’s own Ruben Niebla. Niebla, 47, has been in the coaching ranks for the past 19 years and is eminently familiar with the rituals of spring, but this year he’s heading to Arizona in a shiny new role.

Sports Editor Aaron Bodus can be reached at or 760-337-3434.

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