"I think it's good for me," Santana said. "I've been thinking too much and I think this day off will help me relax."
Santana was removed from Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Yankees in the ninth inning due to mid-back tightness, which the catcher said was related to the right side soreness he has battled for the past few days. The catcher was re-evaluated by head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff on Thursday.
Indians manager Manny Acta did not believe it was a situation that could lead to a stint on the disabled list.
"Carlos is much better. He tested very well for Lonnie," Acta said prior to Thursday's game. "We're going to try to give him the day off completely today and then see where he's at tomorrow.
"We feel that if he has to play, he could play, but we just want to give him the day off."
Beyond being banged up, Santana has been struggling with a persistent slump. Through the first six games of the current road trip, he was mired in a 1-for-16 funk. Dating back to May 18, Santana has hit just .151 (14-for-93) over 27 games.
The switch-hitting Santana also has just a .200 (14-for-70) average against left-handed pitchers. On Thursday, the Orioles threw lefty Wei-Yin Chen at the Tribe, making it an opportune time to give the catcher some rest.
Santana said he has been working to correct some timing issues with his swing mechanics.
"I'm moving a lot with my legs," Santana said. "And I swing hard with my body. I have too many things moving. Right now, I know I'm moving too much."