Jun 11, 2010, 3:48 PM EST
Cleveland isn’t wasting any time with Carlos Santana, making the 24-year-old catcher their No. 3 hitter for his big-league debut tonight against the Nationals.
Obviously the Indians’ lineup isn’t exactly stacked with dangerous bats and as a switch-hitter with power and patience Santana projects as an ideal No. 3 guy, but many teams prefer to slowly work a young player in lower in the lineup. For instance, Mike Stanton has begun his major-league career batting seventh in the Marlins’ lineup despite being a prototypical cleanup hitter
In calling up Santana the Indians also demoted Lou Marson to Triple-A after he started 43 of the first 59 games behind the plate. Marson can’t compete with Santana when it comes to long-term upside and was little more than a place-holder from the moment the Indians got him from the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade last July, but he’s also just 24 years old and likely has a future as a starting catcher in the majors.
Marson hit just .191 with a .530 through 45 games, but if he can put together a solid stretch at Triple-A the Indians should be able to get some value for him. Or they could keep him around as the long-term backup for Santana, but that doesn’t seem like a great use of resources. He lacks power, but Marson has a .370 on-base percentage in the minors and was once considered one of the game’s better catching prospects.