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Carlos Santana is working out at third base

Nov 25, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

Normally when you have a good-hitting catcher who doesn’t profile as a Gold Glover, you think about making him a DH or a first baseman. The Indians aren’t doing that with Carlos Santana, however. Paul Hoynes reports that they’ve talked to him about playing third base down in the Dominican Republic this year and have him taking ground balls at third as a part of his offseason workouts.

Yan Gomes took over the Indians’ catching job late in the season and was lights-out in 322 plate appearances, and clearly Cleveland would love to have both of their bats available. First base isn’t an option because of Nick Swisher and, with a camp invite for Jason Giambi for 2014, DH may be occupied too (it’s a good place to give Swisher a breather as well). Also worth noting that the Indians have a catching prospect named Fransico Mejia who, while still only 18, is supposed to a beast, so it’s not like flipping Gomes, for example, would solve the problem long-term. Mejia could have that job in a few short years.

Santana and Gomes splitting time behind the dish, Santana playing DH a lot and, when he can’t, spotting at third base? I suppose stranger things have happened. But given the overall impression Santana’s defensive skills give a guy, don’t hold your breath until you see him playing the hot corner in a major league game.

  1. Jason Lukehart - Nov 25, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    At Let’s Go Tribe, that’s our favorite picture of Carlos. Good choice, Craig.

    Gomes was the team’s primary catcher for the season’s final two months, catching 5 times a week, with Santana covering the other games, playing 1B once or twice a week, and at DH the rest of the time. Giambi hardly played, and I don’t believe the FO views him as a serious option for the DH job next year. I’m with you, on not believing Santana will play 3B in anything but an emergency, I think this is just the Indians trying to leave no stone unturned in creating as much flexibility as possible, which Francona was fantastic with in 2013, and is an especially important factor for small-market teams.

  2. bkoz1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    A fan of Carlos, I would love to see him in Miami if he still wants to catch (or play 3rd for that matter). Plenty of good young arms down here my friends from Cleveland, what (or who) will it take. Please don’t say Stanton, they may have actually learned from trading Miggy Cabrera.

  3. Kevin Gillman - Nov 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Craig, did you know Carlos was orginally a 3rd baseman in the Dodgers Minor Leagues? Having said that, the Indians should have a decent platoon with Mike Aviles and Lonnie Chisenhall splitting time there. Carlos will mostly DH, with spelling 1st base, and Catching too. Depth is a good thing to have, especially for a team coming off a 92 win season. He’ll be fine, no matter where he plays.

  4. drewzducks - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Oye como va

  5. skullbone76 - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I want to see him karaoke Black Magic Woman when he hits a home run.

  6. hermie13 - Nov 26, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    OF would have made more sense IMO but has the arm to play 3B and as said, played there before moving behind the plate. Can’t hurt to try it.

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