Cleveland stuck to its plan for Carlos Santana, activating him from Major League Baseball's seven-day concussion list prior to Friday's game against the Rangers. Santana was slotted into the lineup's eighth spot as the Tribe's designated hitter for his first game back with the team.
In order to add Santana to the active roster, Cleveland optioned first-base prospect Jesus Aguilar to Triple-A Columbus, where he can get regular at-bats rather than residing on the big league bench. With Lonnie Chisenhall seeing action at both first and third base, Aguilar saw playing time during Santana's stay on the DL.
Indians manager Terry Francona said Santana can still be used at a variety of positions
"He's passed all the tests. He's gone out and caught a bullpen," Francona said. "He's done everything. He's done a realy good job. We could certainly play him at first, we could play him at third, we could catch him."
Santana -- Cleveland's primary backup to starting catcher Yan Gomes -- took a foul ball off the mask during the Indians' 4-2 loss to the Orioles on May 25 in Baltimore. The following day, Santana was a late scratch from the lineup due to feeling ill, which the Tribe then determined was a symptom of a concussion.
The Indians placed Santana on the seven-day concussion list on May 27 and gradually reintroduced baseball activities to his workouts. During Cleveland's recent homestand, Santana advanced through fielding, hitting and running drills, passing the required tests for activation.
"It was terrible. I felt dizzy. My head hurt," Santana said. "But I am prepared. I came early to the field and I tried to get better every day."
Through 50 games this season, the 28-year-old Santana has hit just .159 with six home runs, seven doubles, 17 RBIs and 43 walks for the Tribe. In the four games prior to being shelved, though, the switch-hitter showed signs of offensive life, batting .333 (4-for-12) with one homer, two doubles, four RBIs and six walks.
By optioning Aguilar, the team's 16th-ranked prospect, to Triple-A, Cleveland kept three catchers -- Gomes, Santana and Kottaras -- on the roster. With first baseman Nick Swisher (left knee) still on the 15-day DL, the Indians can use Santana as an option at first and third base, along with designated hitter, limiting his action behind the plate for the time being.