Now Commenting On:

Santana ready to field ground balls with infielders

Santana ready to field ground balls with infielders play video for Santana ready to field ground balls with infielders

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Carlos Santana will take on a new look for the Indians during Monday's workout. Rather than head out to the practice fields wearing his catching gear, Santana will slip on his third baseman's glove and work at the hot corner.

With Yan Gomes taking over as the Tribe's starting catcher, Cleveland is working with Santana on a possible transition to third base this spring. Santana began the move over the offseason during winter ball in the Dominican Republic and will continue to test his skill at third base in the coming weeks.

For the past few days of camp, Santana has caught bullpen sessions and run through drills only with the other catchers.

"He's been going out early in the morning and taking ground balls," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "In fairness to him, and to his body, we wanted him to get back in familiarity with squatting and doing the drills and fundamentals, but now we'll let him go out and kind of exclusively for a while play the infield."

The Indians have not painted the situation as Santana being in competition with Lonnie Chisenhall at third base. Instead, Cleveland has indicated that it is simply trying to see if third base is another position Santana can add to his mix. The switch-hitting catcher can also serve as a part-time first baseman and designated hitter for the Indians.

Right now, Francona does not have a specific number of spring games in mind for Santana as a third baseman.

"I really don't," Francona said. "He's been told that he has to earn the playing time at third. If he's our best third baseman, we'll revisit this as we go."

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.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español