Carlos Santana preparing for potential move to 3B
Carlos Santana is spending his offseason preparing for a potential move to third base, according to a report from ESPN Deportes.
Santana hasn’t played more than a handful of games at the hot corner since 2006, when he was in the Dodgers’ minor-league system, but he has committed himself to re-learning the position during winter ball in the Dominican Republic.
Santana recently told ESPN Deportes that third base is the only position he’s preparing for right now.
"Those are the plans of the team at this moment," Santana said. He indicated that the team asked him to consider the move, saying that it "took a month thinking about it before accepting".
When the news of the potential position shift came out in December, Indians GM Chris Antonetti seemed optimistic about the move.
"It’s still very early in the process," Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. "He’s made a couple of errors, but so far the reports have been encouraging."
The Indians are obviously willing to give the experiment a fair shot, as they sent third base coach Mike Sarbaugh to the Dominican to help Santana with the change during winter ball.
With the emergence of Yan Gomes, who will take over the role as the team’s primary catcher, Santana would be limited to splitting time between catcher, DH and first base. If he’s able to make a smooth transition to third, the Indians would finally get the power from the hot corner that they’ve been seeking.
The team had high expectations for third base production from Lonnie Chisenhall, but he has been a disappointment so far in the major leagues.