With Yan Gomes established as Cleveland’s starting catcher in 2014, Carlos Santana has begun to work out at third base in the Dominican Republic. Finding a way to get Santana at bats away from the designated hitter spot is a good one, but one big question remains:
Will Santana at third base be more harmful than helpful?
The last time Santana played third base on a semi-regular basis was in 2006 during his stint with the Dodgers’ High-A affiliate. Per Baseball America at the time, Logan White, the Dodgers’ scouting chief, encouraged his scouts to target potential conversion candidates and this move was encouraged given the excellent results of moving Russell Martin from third base to behind the plate.
The defensive results for Santana at third were pretty bad — he committed 12 errors in 38 games in 2006 — but we know better than to judge a 20-year-old minor leaguer by his error totals. Francisco Lindor is a truly gifted defender, yet he committed 22 errors in 103 games in 2013. Plus, the Dodgers had Josh Bell — at the time a high-profile prospect — blocking Santana at third base.
So, did the Dodgers move Santana off of third base too quickly to accommodate another prospect? If Santana had stayed at third base, would he have developed into anything resembling an adequate defender at the hot corner?
We cannot answer those questions, but the more important question now is: can Santana fast-track himself into being a serviceable major-league defender at third base in one offseason? Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, December 18, 2013