GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Manny Acta plans on avoiding a situation where certain pitchers are paired with a specific catcher. The playing time behind the plate this season will be based on who is on the mound for the opposition.
"It's not going to be about who's on the mound for us," Acta explained.
Carlos Santana is in line to receive the bulk of the playing time behind the plate this season, with backup catcher Lou Marson garnering most of starts against left-handed pitching. On days Marson catches, the switch-hitting Santana can serve as either a designated hitter or first baseman.
Last season, when first base became a kind of revolving door for the Tribe, Santana stepped out from behind the plate more often than expected. The result led to a few cases where Marson caught the majority of the games for a few of the starting pitchers. Acta does not envision a similar scenario this year, with Casey Kotchman signed to be the everyday first baseman.
"Last year, I was able to do more because of the first-base situation," Acta said. "This year is a different story. We do have a first baseman, so Carlos is going to be our everyday guy [at catcher]. We're just going to get Lou in there when we can, when we feel Carlos deserves a [rest] and when we feel the matchup is right for Lou."
Marson was the primary catcher for starters Ubaldo Jimenez (10 pairings), Roberto Hernandez (19) and Carlos Carrasco (13) during the 2011 season. Santana caught most of the games started by Justin Masterson (22) and Josh Tomlin (24).
Asked if some of the pitchers might be more comfortable with one catcher over the other, Acta cracked a smile.
"It's not about being comfortable," Acta said. "It's about winning ballgames. I'd rather sleep on a very uncomfortable bed if I'm promised that I'm going to win 100 games."