"Right now, fortunately, we seem to have two everyday catchers," Francona said. "That's pretty fortunate. We just try to use it to our advantage."
Santana entered Saturday hitting .261 with 17 home runs, 32 doubles, 62 RBIs and 79 walks. The switch-hitting cleanup man had 81 games at catcher, 35 at DH and 21 at first base. Since Aug. 1, however, Santana had logged 116 2/3 innings behind the plate compared to 184 innings for Gomes.
Heading into Saturday's game against the Mets, the 26-year-old Gomes was batting .300 with nine home runs, 15 doubles, 33 RBIs and an .852 OPS through 68 games. Behind the plate, Gomes has guided the pitching staff to a 3.69 ERA while throwing out 50 percent (15-of-30) of would-be basestealers.
"He's done terrific," Francona said of Gomes. "He's understanding that, as a catcher, you have to take ownership of the staff. That's first and foremost."
Francona was asked if the recent usage of Gomes and Santana -- with Gomes spending the majority of the time at catcher -- was an indication of how the Indians might view their catching alignment in the future.
"You're probably getting ahead of yourself," Francona said. "I think it just kind of makes common sense. [Gomes] has done so well that, when we're playing him, it makes sense to catch him. He's a good catcher. Santana has the ability to DH, play first. Gomes probably does, too, but since he hasn't caught as much, it just seems to make sense."
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.