The Indians plan to utilize Carlos Santana as the team’s primary first baseman, skipper Terry Francona told reporters including MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (via Twitter). That means that Edwin Encarnacion will mostly serve as the team’s designated hitter, though the two will also exchange roles at times. While that’ll increase the wear and tear somewhat on Santana, who’s slated to hit the open market after the season, it will give him a chance also to show his defensive chops after lining up as the DH primarily in 2016.
More from the AL Central:
- The White Sox could welcome Todd Frazier back to action as soon as Wednesday, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago tweets. Manager Rick Renteria says that the veteran has improved quite a bit over the past several days. Chicago is hoping to ease Frazier into action without inflaming his strained oblique; though the club would no doubt love to showcase him for possibly interested rivals, the priority no doubt is on making sure that a more significant injury doesn’t develop — potentially fouling up hopes that he’ll develop into a nice trade deadline chip.
- After struggling through a rookie season in which he hit .185/.231/.281 in 149 plate appearances, Royals middle infielder Raul Mondesi is “a different guy this spring,” manager Ned Yost told Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. While the 21-year-old Mondesi has impressed thus far as one of four contenders for the Royals’ second base job, the fact that he has minor league options remaining could work against him, Flanagan notes. Of the other contenders, Cheslor Cuthbert and Christian Colon don’t have options left, so they look like shoo-ins for roster spots. Whit Merrifield, meanwhile, could be too valuable to the Royals as a utility man to demote. Nevertheless, Yost has left the door open for Mondesi to grab a spot. “The decision will come down [to] what is best for his development,” Yost said. “If he’s at a point where he can contribute … Defensively, his range is unbelievable. The coverage is unbelievable in terms of how far he can go side to side, and getting pop flies.”
- Royals DH/outfielder Brandon Moss is dealing with some lower back stiffness, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star tweets. He’ll sit out today’s action, though it seems there’s little reason for concern at this point. Moss is considered day to day.