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Are the Indians really planning to play Carlos Santana at third base?

Jan 22, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

Last week Carlos Santana told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he’s been preparing to play third base regularly this season and expects that to be his primary position following a move from catcher.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer talked to Indians general manager Chris Antonetti, who was slightly less definitive about the situation:

We have not made a decision at third base. That’s what spring training is for. But Carlos has gotten a tremendous head start due to the work he’s put in this offseason. It started with him working at our complex in the Dominican Republic with our coaches. And it transitioned into winter ball.

I think Carlos has approached it that he wants to work as hard as he can to be the best third baseman he can be. … We feel good about our options there. We continue to believe in Lonnie Chisenhall and his potential. And Carlos can only enhance his impact on the team and our goal of becoming a better ball club.

In addition to Lonnie Chisenhall the Indians also have Mike Aviles as an option at third base, so Hoynes speculates that Santana will have to impress during spring training to win the starting job and the position could end up with a time-sharing arrangement of some sort. Meanwhile, the idea that Yan Gomes is now the Indians’ starting catcher seems to be widely accepted by everyone.

  1. chacochicken - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Chisenhall hasn’t proven anything and isn’t a particularly good defender. Gomes is better at catching and pitch framing than Santana so this could be a smart move if it pans out. The Twins should consider doing the same thing with Mauer.

    • happytwinsfan - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      if the twins moved mauer to third, they’d have to put sano at first when he comes up. i think they decided that they didn’t want to limit sano’s defensive value from the start.

      • chacochicken - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        A lot of the scouting I’ve read on Sano suggests they aren’t likely to keep him at 3rd in any event. Projecting more of a 1B/Corner OF type of defender, iirc.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      I have seen Gomes play third base, and believe that Gomes is also a better third baseman than anyone else on the Indians.

  2. raynman49 - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    I hear Springsteen is available.

  3. APBA Guy - Jan 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Well, from the outside, this has all the earmarks of Edwin Encarnacion at third-he’s not nicknamed E5 for nothing. I can see Santana maybe getting some time there, as well as first, as well as catcher and DH. But as the man said, that’s what Spring training is for.

  4. 6stn - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Paul McCartney on First Base, John Entwhistle on Second Base, Bill Wyman on Third Base. Carlos Santana on Lead Guitar.

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