Indians name Carlos Santana starting third baseman
After spending the first few years of his career as a catcher, Carlos Santana is moving to the third base for the Indians in 2014.
After working out at the hot corner during winter ball and spring training, Carlos Santana will open the season as the Indians' primary third baseman, the team announced. Lonnie Chisenhall has made the club in a bench role.
Here are the details, courtesy of MLB.com's Jordan Bastian:
Francona said today that Santana is the Tribe's third baseman. It won't be a platoon situation with Chisenhall. Santana also backup catcher.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 25, 2014
How Chisenhall will be used remains fluid. He will likely see ABs at third base when Santana catches. Can also DH, or come off bench as PH.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 25, 2014
"I thought we could be the best team with Carlos and Lonnie. I'm not exactly sure how that's going to play itself out," said manager Terry Francona to Bastian.
Santana, 27, has been a catcher for the last eight years, including the last four at the MLB level. He also played some first base for the Tribe these last few seasons. Third base will not be a completely new experience to him -- Santana originally signed as a third baseman before being converted to a catcher in the minors.
Santana hit .268/.377/.455 (137 OPS+) with 20 home runs last season and he owns a career 130 OPS+, but Cleveland can afford to move him out from behind the plate thanks to the emergence of Yan Gomes. Gomes, 26, hit .294/.345/.481 (133 OPS+) last season, his first with the team, and took over as the regular backstop with Santana at first or DH.
The 25-year-old Chisenhall has hit .244/.284/.411 (94 OPS+) with 23 home runs in 203 games with the Indians over the last three years. He has failed to grab hold of that third base job, but he has some power and would be a useful left-handed role player. Chisenhall could also be a late-inning defensive replacement for Santana at third.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Here is everything you need to know about the day in baseball
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Sunday's Cardinals vs. Braves matchup 10,000...
Here's what you need to know from the last seven days of MLB action
Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams are both out with injury
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Sunday's Padres vs. Blue Jays matchup 10,000...
SportsLine's Mike McClure, a DFS pro with nearly $2M in winnings, gives optimal lineup adv...