Indians hoping Santana can re-emerge at plate

Indians hoping Santana can re-emerge at plate

CLEVELAND -- Travis Hafner's absence has undoubtedly hurt the Indians' offense. The designated hitter has been one of the team's primary run producers throughout his career.

With Hafner on the disabled list due to a knee injury, the Indians continue to look for another middle-of-the-order player to step up. Catcher Carlos Santana seemed, at the time Hafner went out, to be an obvious answer.

But Santana has struggled with the added pressure to produce. In 13 starts, entering Monday, since Hafner's injury, Santana was hitting just .130 (6-for-46) with no home runs and six RBIs. Santana has only five home runs on the season, a year after hitting 27 long balls.

Indians manager Manny Acta said Santana continues to try and cut down on some of his body movement at the plate. Acta would like to see Santana keep his hands inside the ball and use the whole field.

"That's nothing new to him," Acta said. "He's just working on it."

Acta moved Santana down from fourth to sixth in the order for Monday night's game against the Reds. Santana hasn't batted that low in the lineup all season.

"He's been scuffling a little bit," Acta said. "We're just trying not to put any added pressure on him. We're doing the best we can to put the best lineup out there."