Santana and the Dominican Republic captured the Classic crown with a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico, which featured Tribe infielder Mike Aviles, on Tuesday night in San Francisco. For the tournament, the D.R. ran the table, winning all eight games it played through stops in Puerto Rico, Miami and San Francisco.
In his eight games, Santana hit .273 (6-for-22) with two home runs, three RBIs, five runs scored and nine walks for his homeland. Aviles, who was acquired from Toronto in an offseason trade, hit .323 (10-for-31) with a homer, double, four runs and nine RBIs for Puerto Rico.
Francona was happy that his players had the chance to take part, but he is looking forward to getting them back in camp with the regular season rapidly approaching.
"I'm glad for them," Francona said, "but it seems like every time we're trying to do something, especially around our infield, whether it's bunt plays, first-to-third plays, our catcher isn't here. That's frustrating. So we'll be glad to have them back."
Francona noted that Aviles was scheduled to arrive in Arizona on Wednesday night and would be given the day off on Thursday. The infielder will rejoin the team on Friday. The manager was not as clear on Santana's itinerary, but expected to have the catcher back in the fold soon.
Santana will have some catching up to do when he does return to Cleveland's workouts and games.
"He's probaby caught more than he would've caught here, and high intensity innings," Francona said. "That part's not a problem. We just want to make sure everybody is on the same page when we start the games here, on where we're throwing the ball and why, and how we're giving signs, and things like that."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.