OAKLAND, Calif.: At least for awhile, Carlos Santana will supplant Asdrubal Cabrera as the Tribe's cleanup hitter.
Also for now, Carlos Carrasco is being shifted to the bullpen, at least for tonight. Longer term plans for him will await developments.
Early in the season Santana batted fourth, but manager Terry Francona didn’t think that was his proper role as a catcher still developing his skills behind the plate.
“”We had him batting fourth, but we told him his primary job was catching,’’ the manager said. “”That’s sending the wrong message. But now, Yan Gomes is catching more.’’
Santana and Cabrera both are switch hitters, so Francona won’t lose any flexibility by moving Santana between two left-handed batters, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley.
In 81 at-bats in the cleanup spot, Cabrera batted .198 with two home runs and 10 RBI. By comparison, in 24 at-bats Santana batted .208 with three home runs and six RBI.
What will Francona do with Carrasco?
“”He will be in the bullpen tonight,’’ the manager said. “”For the time being that’s where we are. I like the idea that an eight-man bullpen give us a better situation to win.’’
But Francona said it is not time to abandon Carrasco as a career starter.
“”Until he proves he can’t start, we’re not going to bail on him as a starter,’’ the manager said. “”You just don’t find those kinds of arms that often.’’
Expanding he use of replay to get calls right is virtually assured.
Details of what can be reviewed are incomplete, and both the owners and the players union muzs ratify the proposal. Under the new plan, managers will have a certain number of challenges.
“”I haven’t read it completely yet,’’ Francona said. “”But with technology getting so good, I like the idea of getting plays right. I hope they come up with a system that doesn’t drag games out.''
Using a system of challenges is not ideal, according to Francona.
“”I wish they would use a fifth umpire up in a (press box) booth, just like college football does,’’ he said. “”It would take about 10 seconds.’’