It appears that Carlos Santana has worked himself into a formadible option at 3rd base for the Cleveland Indians. He isn’t ready to be the Tribe’s everyday 3rd baseman yet but most likely will fill that spot on the lineup card several times a week. The rest of the time he will be able to spell Yan Gomes behind the plate and DH. The best thing is that his bat will be in the lineup nearly everyday. Most likely we will see Lonnie Chisenhall face right handed pitching and while Santana can play against the left handers as the Indians will platoon at third base. Santana’s ability to catch will allow Manager Terry Francona to leave a back up catcher like Luke Carlin off of the roster. This will free up another roster spot which will make the team more flexible.
Chisenhall is hitting the ball well this spring again, however spring ball and the minor leagues has been the extent of any sustained success from Lonnie’s bat in the past. If he cannot make the next step as a productive hitter this season, I would like to see Santana step into that everyday role at 3rd. He could be spelled by Mike Aviles when his catching duties were needed and the Chisenhall experiment could be put to bed, if necessary. Let’s hope the experience Carlos gains during the first month of the season allows the Indians that option should they choose to move forward without Chisenall.
The Indians pitching staff has looked good so far this spring and it seems as though the 5th spot in the rotation is between Josh Tomlin and Carlos Carrasco. It seems as though Carrasco is the more intriguing of the two to Francona I feel strongly that Carrasco would be the guy if the season started today. The only issue with this is that Carrasco is out of minor league assignments so he is going to make the team either way whether it be in the bullpen or as a starter. Tomlin still has minor league options left should they decide to go that way. One plus, is that both Carrasco and Tomlin both have bullpen experience as it is very possible they both make the team in one capacity or another.
Indians Releiver Blake Wood has been a popular topic in Goodyear. He has impressed a great deal this spring. He has only given up one run in six innings and has been clocked throwing 99 mph. The Indians claimed Wood in 2012 after his best season as a pro in 2011. Wood had elbow surgery and has rehabbed with the Indians. He could be a big help in the bullpen and will probably make the team. Indians utility infielder Elliot Johnson is also making a strong bid to make the team. He is hitting the ball very well this spring and he can play any infield position. He could be a valuable addition to the 2014 Tribe bench.
By: Brad Ward
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