CLEVELAND -- The Indians are finally seeing consistency at the plate from catcher Carlos Santana. Following a rough first half, Santana has provided a silver lining for Cleveland's troubles over the past two months.
Manager Manny Acta said that Santana's recent success is the result of carrying his work behind the scenes to the games. Santana has spent much of the past two years tweaking his mechanics, trying to find the form currently on display.
"It's been his ability to use the middle of the field," Acta said. "That's been the biggest issue. His biggest problem is still becoming too pull-conscious, but he's making more of a conscious effort to stay up the middle, and that helps him out with staying inside the ball."
Acta added that the switch-hitter has done this batting both left- and right-handed.
"Both sides of the plate," he said. "He gets in trouble when he's just spinning off and pulling everything. We have showed that to him in every way possible, and he's making a conscious effort to do it."
Entering Friday's game against Detroit, Santana was hitting .285 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs in 58 games since the All-Star break. In the second half, he has led the Indians in those three categories, as well as on-base percentage (.381), slugging percentage (.500), OPS (.881), doubles (13), extra-base hits (23), runs (29), walks (30), hits (57) and total bases (100).
Santana hit just .221 with five home runs, 13 doubles and 30 RBIs in 69 games in the first half. During that stretch, he posted a .339 OBP, .336 SLG and .675 OPS.