Carlos Santana Will Be Indians’ Regular Third Baseman

Indians manager Terry Francona said today that Carlos Santana will serve as the club's everyday third baseman, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports on Twitter. Francona emphasized that Santana will not platoon with Lonnie Chisenhall, but said that he will also serve as the team's backup catcher.

Needless to say, it appears that Cleveland's lineup construction will be interesting to watch as the season progresses. Of course, if Santana really does see regular part-time catching duties while playing every day in the field, any benefits from reduced wear and tear could be countered by the physical and mental burden of taking on a new position and receiving little rest. And if the team gives him some straight off days to account for this unusual challenge, rather than slotting him in at DH, it stands to lose his bat on those occasions. 

For his part, Chisenhall will make the squad but faces a "fluid" playing time situation, according to a Bastian tweet. We broke down some of the potential hot stove implications of this possible move back in January. 


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49 Comments on "Carlos Santana Will Be Indians’ Regular Third Baseman"


Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Santana the starting 3B? Even though Lonnie has out-played him all spring? Becoming very obvious that Francona doesn’t like Chis at all. But maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised—this is the same guy who has a man-crush on Giambi.
I’ve been an Indians fan since the 1960’s, but this move will cause me to consider ending that relationship. Still wish Sandy Alomar, Jr. would have been named our manager, instead of Francona. This team will never be truly successful until the Dolans, Shapiro, and Antonetti, along with Francona, are history.

Kyle Garret
1 year 5 months ago

Seriously? THIS is the move that makes you consider ending your relationship with the team?

Chiz performs well every spring. It’s yet to translate. I am surprised by the movie, though. I figured at least a platoon situation.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Not just this move, but I didn’t feel like posting the list on here and boring everyone. It started with TF being chosen above Sandy because of Francona’s ties to the FO. Add in not bringing Omar into the fold as a coach, a lack of finding a big bat this off-season and previous ones, letting starting pitching leave without so much as trying to offer them a fair contract, keeping Morgan over Francouer, letting Harang go, overpaying Bourn and Swisher……should I go on? I could be here forever.

Victoria Roberts
1 year 5 months ago

Seriously? Francona has won two World Series. How are you not excited to have him as your Manager? You would prefer someone who has never managed before to someone who has a proven track record of success? I get that you want to see Alomar back with the Indians, but come on. Francona totally changed the way your team thinks. They expect to win now every time they go out there. They won 92 games with him last year. How long has it been since they’ve done that well? Since 2007. And he did it with many fewer weapons than you had then. You should be happy to have him.

Kyle
1 year 5 months ago

You can’t live in the past, I love Sandy and Omar but to say that Tito was a bad hire is ridiculous. Sandy has no managing experience, you hire guys out of nostalgia and you get Robin Ventura and you finish 5th.
Chisenhall can’t hit lefties he still isn’t hitting lefties. Santana has worked his butt off to become the everyday 3B you have to appreciate that from a guy who has had his work ethic questioned numerous times before.
Francouer can’t play center and is not a lead off hitter. Morgan is. Simple as that the move is based on Bourn being hurt.
Name me the big bat we should have signed? Because there weren’t any.
Harang is no better than the internal options, you can’t complain about. Showing bias towards veterans and then say they should have kept Harang .

The team made the playoffs last year and all Cleveland can do is nitpick and talk about the NFL draft

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

If you recall, Sandy managed after Acta was fired, Santana is not a glove man, Brantley could move back to CF on interim basis, therefore leaving a corner outfield spot for Frenchy, and Harang can do something only one of our starters(Masterson) has been able to do—give us 200 innings. Next?

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

Lonnie only has 1 more extra base hit and is tied in HR. Santana has more RBI. I myself haven’t see the defense, but Chisenhall has a .943 fielding percentage which isn’t that great, and would of been in the bottom 3rd of MLB qualifiers last year. If Santana can be league average, it will be an upgrade.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Chis .308 BA Carlos .167 BA

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

Batting average is a meaningless stat if you aren’t putting runs on the board or contributing to runs scoring. They scored within 1-2 runs of eachother, and Carlos has been more productive. In your logic, you would rather have Chris Johnson next year rather then Giancarlo Stanton, since Johnson has a higher batting avg for his career?

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

I liked the move, takes advantage of the strong catcher throwing arm, while not just sticking him long term at 1B. Lonnier has looked pretty good this spring, but sss. Has never really managed to catch on in the time that he has been given.

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

That fantasy value. Through the roof!

Fernando
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah I grabbed Santana as my C, and have Alvarez at 3B. Santana probably still more useful as a C fantasy-wise though.

BMac
1 year 5 months ago

To Sufferfortribe
You have got to be kidding??? First, Tito caused a change in the organization so dramatic that we made a playoff birth. Second, what do you expect Tito to do with Santana? Gomes needs to be the everyday catcher and Swish needs to be the everyday 1B. Santana doesn’t want to DH everyday and that’s understandable; I for one like a player who prefers to play in the field as well as bat everyday. I believe Santana will have his best offensive season this year if he doesn’t catch. Anybody else notice that Santana was hit by at least 10 foul balls a game. Santana is the best offensive player on the team period…and yes he’s better than Kip!!!

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

reply buton?

BMac
1 year 5 months ago

As for Chiz, I would’ve liked for him to be given a shot everyday…if he was a solid defender.However Lonnie’s defensive really isn’t that much better than what Santana will provide. Hey if Detroit can run Miggy out to 3rd then the tribe can do the same w/ Santana.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Kipnis is way better than Santana. So is Brantley.

DCTribeFan
1 year 5 months ago

Santana is the Tribe’s best hitter, by all accounts and sources except YOU. Take the hint.

Jason
1 year 5 months ago

This is a real headscratcher for me, since Lonnie has been actually hitting well this spring..

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Indians want both Gomes and Santana in the lineup everyday, this is the only way to do it. Chisenhall’s hot spring does not make up for his .284 career OBP or the fact that he has almost as many strikeouts as hits.

Jason
1 year 5 months ago

Who do you suggest DH’s?

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

Lonnie? His fielding % wasn’t anything great last year.

Jason
1 year 5 months ago

I think if they wanted Lonnie hitting, they would’ve put him at 3rd. Santana can prove me wrong, and I’d be delighted if he does, but his defense at 1st has been mediocre, I don’t expect better defense when moving to a more demanding position.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

In some kind of fairness.. Francona, in most all situations will go with veterans when he has a choice. He doesn’t seem to like going with rookies. He didn’t want to go with Pedroia over Mark Loretta as a rookie either.

DCTribeFan
1 year 5 months ago

He hits well EVERY spring.

Jason
1 year 5 months ago

Right, because the 205/225/231 from 2012 was so good
He legitimately beat out Carlos this spring, and any value from Carlos comes from hitting. If his hitting suffers from having to work so much on 3rd, that is lots of lost value

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Bazinga! Good point, Jason.

paqza
1 year 5 months ago

Except Carlos has a long track record of strong offensive output.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Yes………and………….yes.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Will be interesting to see if Lonnie asks to be traded………..or is traded by our cracker-jack front office.

DCTribeFan
1 year 5 months ago

He’s already had the conversation with Tito and Antonetti. His response? ” Play me anywhere–I’ll do anything to help us win”.
Now come up with more sordid conspiracy theories. We’ll all wait.

Jason
1 year 5 months ago

What’s he supposed to say without causing perceptions of bad attitude? “I’ll do anything” is a cliche of a response, hardly a real indicator of his thoughts

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Exactly.

Kadoc
1 year 5 months ago

Yes but he has yet to prove he can be an effective everyday player in the majors at 3B so if he moves, I’m not sure he’d gain much playing time.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

He’s never been given a real chance to prove that he can be an effective everyday player. Being sent up and down to the minors, while others who are struggling get to work through their issues, is not a fair chance. Wonder if he made someone in the FO mad?

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Thanks for letting me vent, fellow fans. It was fun. GO TRIBE!!

willf6
1 year 5 months ago

Are you Lonnie Chisenhall? That’s the only conclusion I can come to, after reading all of your posts.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Then you don’t know what a LIFE-LONG Indians fan sounds like.

Fernando
1 year 5 months ago

Read your comments also. Don’t worry… things will be OK. If Santana fails at 3B, Lonnie will be there to take up more playing time. This move makes sense from a few different perspectives:

1. Santana is one of our best hitters (I would argue the best), so keeping him happy is important. He wanted to play 3B instead of DH.
2. Santana and Gomes play everyday (or close to it). If Gomes gets hurt, it’s better to have Santana in the field. if he’s at DH and has to go in to catch, we lose the DH and have the pitcher hit. True Gomes may not get hurt much, but it gives Francona the flexibility to pull Gomes in the case of a blowout and give him a few innings off and have Santana finish out the game at catcher.
3. Lonnie tends to let his defensive mistakes translate to his hitting. Under this configuration, Lonnie will get a lot of time at DH. Having him focus on his hitting is good, as that is really the thing that is holding him back. He needs to learn to strike out less and walk more. He has a good swing and some good power. He has never had the opportunity to really focus on his hitting at the MLB level. This lets him do that – and hopefully, it works, and he breaks out. I think this move allows him to continue his momentum from a strong spring into the regular season, where he will be facing considerably better pitching.
4. It also probably teaches Lonnie a good lesson – to work hard to get the team to win. Santana was out there every day at 7 AM fielding ground balls. Maybe this will motivate Lonnie to work on his hitting to convince the team to keep him around.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Well, I think I’m done on here for today. Time for dinner. Chicken and beer sounds about right.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

His stats say otherwise

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

He’s not a very good catcher(if he was, Gomes wouldn’t be the starter), a terrible 1B, and I would bet a scary 3B-to-be. Can’t wait to see him airmail a few double-play throws into RF. And as far as being such a great hitter? A .254 career avg., with averages of 18 HR and 63 RBI a year? That rates as mid-level, to me. He needs to quit walking so much, and start hitting more. Like I said…….over-rated.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Ever heard of OBP (hint .367 is good) and wRC+ (128 is good)?

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

Because his .995 fielding percentage is sooo bad at 1B, and please never, ever tell a MLB player not to walk as much.

paqza
1 year 5 months ago

You’ve gotta be kidding. Santana has a very, very good bat that plays at any position, including 1B/DH.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

Walks don’t usually drive in runs.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

Are you clueless? He has had 70 RBI, was 18th in OBP, had a .995 fielding percentage at 1st base, has hit 20 homeruns in 2 of the last 3 seasons. I want a team of middle level players that hit 18 homeruns.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 5 months ago

How many of those RBI’s were the result of a BB? Imagine how many more RBI’s he could have if he actually tried to hit the ball with guys on base.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

It doesn’t matter, if the balls are out of the zone, why would you swing.. take a walk if you could get one.

DCTribeFan
1 year 5 months ago

Answer the question. I’ll worry about my own beverage choices, TYVM.