Santana will join Tribe before Labor Day

Santana will join Tribe before Labor Day

CLEVELAND -- The Indians know this much: catching prospect Carlos Santana will be wearing a Major League uniform before Labor Day.

Will he be with the Indians before the All-Star break? Tribe manager Manny Acta hasn't ruled that out, either.

"There's a chance," Acta said. "We have heard some good reports on Carlos, certainly more positive things than negative things.

"Put it this way, he'll be here by Sept. 1."

Santana, acquired by the Indians in a 2008 trade that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers, entered Thursday hitting .307 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 56 games for Triple-A Columbus this season.

The 24-year-old Dominican Republic native has posted a robust 1.008 OPS with the Clippers.

"He's been a hitter his whole life," Acta said.

Acta hopes the touted slugger can grow to be just as effective behind the plate. Through Wednesday, Santana had thrown out 23 percent of attempted basestealers (9-of-40).

"His problem is not throwing itself," Acta said. "At times, he worries about throwing 100 mph, way too hard. He's got a cannon of an arm, and he wants people to see it."

Tribe fans want to see Santana, too. But when the backstop does arrive to the big leagues, it won't be because he's a finished product.

"He's one of those players who, even when he gets here, will be a work in progress defensively," Cleveland general manager Mark Shapiro said.