There was a feature interview recently on the Cleveland Indians official site in which Carlos Santana spoke about his being okay accepting the designated hitter role during most of the Indians starts over the past month plus. Yan Gomes has been getting the lion’s share of playing time and it has been one of the top moves of the season by manager Terry Francona. It is a good thing that Santana is fine with the move because I doubt there was little choice in the matter.
Santana is a fine catcher and I love the way he plays. Offensively there is little difference between these two but with Gomes behind the plate the Indians have maximum defense on the field and the best of both worlds in the line-up. To Santana’s credit, a lot of MLB players would have huge ego problem with this move and it would be easy for him to see it as getting half-benched. He has kept his head up and kept his swing in the game though.
For all the ups and downs of this season for the Indians, this move and a few other really plus things going on right now make them not only favorite to overtake someone in the wildcard race but also a threat to the Detroit Tigers’ once seemingly comfortable lead in the American League Central. There are a lot of things that go into a team playing better and one of those is even their schedule over the last couple of weeks. They still have to play the games though and with the combination Santana and Gomes have become, the Indians really have a big chance at October baseball.