27-year-old star Carlos Santana has been one of the hottest names at the catcher position for nearly a decade in Major League Baseball, but for the 2014 season, the Cleveland Indians have announced that he will officially be moving to third base.
Francona said today that Santana is the Tribe’s third baseman. It won’t be a platoon situation with Chisenhall. Santana also backup catcher.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 25, 2014
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Indians manager Terry Francona announced that Santana will indeed play third base full-time, and the revelation comes after a full off-season of speculation and “tryouts” for Santana. It is important to note that Santana was originally a third baseman when he arrived with the organization, but it does seem like a very bold move to shift a player away from catcher and to a high-impact defensive spot at this relatively late stage.
At the plate, the switch-hitting Santana has always produced, posting a career OBP of .367 (which is excellent) with above-average power, but if there is a knock here, it is that his bat is no longer “elite” at his new position. Incumbent third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall could reportedly see some time as a platoon option at designated hitter and as a possible defensive replacement, but for now, the job is Santana’s to lose at the hot corner.