CLEVELAND -- Carlos Santana is struggling at the plate. Lou Marson continues to be productive. So Marson should get more playing time at catcher, right?
It's not that easy, manager Manny Acta said.
"We can't forget that Santana's our everyday guy," Acta said. "When Lou's doing that well, it improves his chances of being out there. But it's not something that's going to change what we're doing here on an everyday basis."
The Indians signed Santana to a five-year, $21 million contract extension in April, but he hasn't provided the kind of middle-of-the-order production Cleveland hoped it would get from him. Santana entered Thursday's game against the Rays hitting just .218 with five home runs and 29 RBIs. He hit .239 with 27 homers and 79 RBIs in 2011.
Marson, meanwhile, continues to take advantage of the playing time he's gotten due to some injuries. He entered Thursday hitting .393 (24-for-61) with three doubles, two triples and six RBIs in 19 starts since May 24, including a four-hit game June 30 at Baltimore. Marson is hitting .295 with seven RBIs on the season.
But Santana is the franchise catcher, and Acta will continue to play him as he works through his hitting struggles. Having a hot backup catcher, though, is something Acta will gladly take.
"It's good that he's doing well," Acta said. "It helps give me more peace of mind whenever I want to rest Santana. This is what we envisioned a long time ago out of Lou. It will at least make things easier for me going forward. I can put Santana at first, I can DH Santana against lefties sometimes to rest [Travis] Hafner."