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Santana appears to have won Indians' third base job

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 25, 2014

There was no major announcement, only a sly revelation by Indians manager Terry Francona Tuesday.

But it essentially revealed that converted catcher Carlos Santana apparently has won the third base job over Lonnie Chisenhall.

"Carlos is going to play third," Francona said. "I don’t have a crystal ball. I’m not sure you really need to have one. Things happen."

Chisenhall was told Monday that he had made the 25-man roster for Opening Day. He said Tuesday he had been told no details of where he would play.

"No, it’s up in the air," Chisenhall said. "They told me whatever they asked me to do, be ready, whether it’s pinch-run, play defense, start, DH, play left field, right field, whatever they ask me to do. It’s one of those situations and when I get in there, make the most of my opportunities."

Discussing how he would use Santana and Chisenhall, Francona said, "At the beginning of spring training I said I thought we could be the best team with Carlos and Lonnie. I’m not exactly sure how that’s going to play itself now. I’m not sure anybody really is. I’d rather not to commit to…

"Carlos has done an outstanding job showing not only can he play third, but having the ability to catch a major league ballgame at the same time. I think that’s a phenomenal skill set."

Asked if he could use Santana at third base and Chisenhall as the designated hitter against right-handers, Francona said, "Could do a few things. It gives us a lot of versatility.

"You have to be realistic, we have Bournie coming back and G. But things happen."

The reference to center fielder Michael Bourn and designated hitter/first baseman Jason Giambi, who both will start the season on the disabled list, indicated Chisenhall might not be on the roster for long unless there are injuries to other regulars.

Bourn was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained left hamstring and could miss the first four games. Giambi will go on the disabled list Sunday and could also miss the first four. He suffered a non-displaced rib fracture on his right side on March 7.

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