Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Santana's hard work evident at hot corner

Santana's hard work evident at hot corner play video for Santana's hard work evident at hot corner

CLEVELAND -- It was only one infield workout, and far from a game-type simulation, but Indians manager Terry Francona came away impressed by Carlos Santana's showing at third base on Monday morning.

During Cleveland's first full-squad workout, which included having Santana work exclusively as an infielder, the catcher-turned-third baseman lined up with Lonnie Chisenhall at the hot corner. Francona said it was not by design, but the manager was the one hitting a stream of ground balls to both third basemen.

Francona said the work Santana has put in behind the scenes is more important than what onlookers observed during the infield practice.

"From the minute we have laid eyes on him, he has been nothing but diligent," Francona said. "I mean, staying at it to the point where he's taking a weird-sided, crazy super ball back to his room at night to work on side to side. He has worked so hard just to get to this point.

"I'm so proud of him already just for what he's done. It's going to be interesting going forward."

The rubber ball Francona mentioned has a handful of bumps that make the direction of its ricochet unpredictable when thrown. Entering the spring, Santana had already logged roughly 30 games at third base during winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

"He's very athletic," Francona said. "And he's aware that, just because he wants to play third, doesn't mean he's going to play third. We have a responsibility to our team to put our best team on the field. That's what we're going to do. The fact that we're talking about this with Carlos is a huge compliment to him."

As for Chisenhall, whose career in the big leagues has been riddled with inconsistency, Francona said the third baseman understands the situation.

"[I told him] the truth, which is that we're a better team with him on it, we believe," Francona said. "But we want him to earn it. That's being very truthful. I think he kind of agrees with it. If players play well, and they're good, we'll find places for them."

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.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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