Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona has made the announcement that most fans were hoping would happen last season. Yan Gomes is going to be the full time catcher next season. Gomes had been a part time catcher behind Carlos Santana with the occasional day as the designated hitter. Santana, who has always been a much better hitter than catcher, moves to a split role of first base and the DH.
Gomes was brought in by the Indians to be a defensive specialist behind Santana, but he just kept finding himself in situations where a big hit could make a difference and he was able to deliver; many times with a big home run. This prompted many fans of the Indians to call for Gomes to take the full time job. Santana has always been a catcher who looked like he was thinking about hitting while he was behind the plate. He had a number of passed balls and defensive errors in his time there. Gomes occasionally had his own miscues but he was the more competent defensive player.
The offensive value of Santana behind the plate was high, which made him viable there. However, the Indians need more pop in the lineup overall and the hope is that with Santana getting almost no wear and tear from catching, he can be the terrific hitter he has flashed at times, maintain hot streaks longer and get out of slumps more quickly. Gomes is never going to be a huge hitter for average but at least last season, he had a knack for the big hit and was better behind the plate, making the Indians a better team overall.