Every good baseball team has a little wiggle room in terms of its everyday line-up. However, sometimes MLB franchises get so enamored with flexibility that it turns to chaos and disorganization before long. The Cleveland Indians know all too well about being disorganized and are doing their best to put a stable product on the field in 2014.
In 2013, Cleveland really turned it on toward the end of the year as unexpected jolts from Yan Gomes and Ryan Raburn really helped to push this team into the postseason. Unfortunately, neither player was routinely penciled in the line-up because Cleveland simply had too many mouths to fed. In an effort to fix that problem, the Indians have decided to move Carlos Santana from catcher/first base to third base in what will his new full-time position.
This move comes as a bit of shock considering Santana spent 81 games behind the dish in 2013 and has never played a game at the hot corner. Even still, Cleveland needed to make a move that helped the Tribe line-up be more consistent, so you really can’t knock what the Indians did here. Santana’s move also reminds me of the infamous transition to third base that Miguel Cabrera recently made. The Detroit Tigers needed to make room for first baseman Prince Fielder and the club never looked back. Needless to say, Cabrera went on to win two consecutive American League MVP Awards and a Triple Crown.
I’m not saying Santana is going to put up Cabrera-like numbers, yet the potential for an Indians’ division title is definitely within the realm of possibility thanks to this minor tweak.