Today, Tito Francona has officially named Carlos Santana the Cleveland Indian’s third baseman. I am not surprised by this at all. When the news came out this past winter about Santana playing 3rd base in winter ball and could potentially play 3rd for the Indians, I knew that he was going to get this job. The Indians really have been struggling at the position the past few years.
Former Indian Jack Hanhahan was great defensively, but never had the bat. In 2013, the Indians batted a grand total of .218 at 3rd base. The Indians never really found a permanent replacement since Casey Blake left the team. Jhonny Peralta played some 3rd base, Mark Reynolds didn’t work out, and we can’t forget Jason Nix. Clearly, the Indians have struggled severely at a crucial position defensively and offensively. Lonnie Chisenhall was supposed to be the Indians future 3rd baseman, but has only batted .244 in his 3 major league seasons with the Tribe. He still remains on the roster, to be used to play DH, pinch hit, and play 3rd when Santana catches. This might be subject to change when Giambi returns from his rib injury.
The Indians are hoping this can be the guy. I thought it would be anybody but Santana, catching for the past 8 years including 4 of those on the major league squad. Hopefully this will benefit Santana, his bat can majorly improve not having to labor as much behind the plate.