The Indians currently have one spot in the everyday lineup at first base and two players who would like to be stationed there, that being Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana.



Both are converted catchers who have put in the work to be able to play first base. Both would prefer to play the field instead of sitting in the dugout as the designated hitter for all 162 games. But, something has to give or a balance has to be found. The two will certainly split time between first base and DH, but it’s also unlikely it will be a 50-50 split.



To address it, Indians manager Terry Francona took a straightforward approach.



“I asked [Santana] and Napoli both, ‘If you were the manager, who would you play?’” Francona said this past week in Goodyear, Ariz. “Both of them were like, ‘The better first baseman.’ It’s kind of easy.”



Francona wouldn’t say much beyond that in terms of addressing the situation directly, but statistically, that means Napoli should get the nod to be the primary first baseman.



In their careers, Napoli has graded out as the better defensive first baseman over Santana. Per FanGraphs, Napoli has 20 defensive runs saved in his career at first base (just under 4,000 innings). Santana has -9 (in just under 3,000 innings).



Among first baseman the last two seasons with at least 1,500 innings logged at first base in that time, Napoli’s 10 defensive runs saved were ninth in baseball. Santana’s -8 put him 20th, with only Chicago’s Jose Abreu and Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard being worse.



“[Napoli] has worked really hard to get good over there,” Francona said. “He’s not afraid to work and he’s really gotten pretty good.”



If Napoli does spend the majority of his time at first base, he’ll still be in the DH role fairly often. Francona is aware that Santana would prefer to not be the everyday DH, and he’d also like to take steps to ensure Napoli’s bat can remain in the lineup as much as possible.



“I think [Napoli] would much rather play first,” Francona said. “I think he understands, though, that one, with Santana, [he’s also an option]. And we’re trying to keep him in games where it makes sense to. I think he’s very open to that.”



The question could become how often Santana ends up in the field, and first base is the only real option. Catcher is occupied by Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez. The Santana-at-third-base experiment of 2014 failed after a month. Santana has played exactly four innings in the outfield in his big-league career, and that came in 2012 in an emergency-type situation.



It seems as though Napoli is destined to act as the primary first baseman, with Francona staying mindful of keeping Santana in a rhythm and keeping Napoli’s bat in the lineup. At least, that’s what the statistics and apparent situation show. For now, it can be included in the plethora of things to watch this spring.



Opportunity arrived



Abraham Almonte’s 80-game suspension for a failed drug test that revealed performance-enhancing drugs opened up an increased opportunity for several outfielders vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster, especially with left fielder Michael Brantley expected to miss roughly the first month of the season.



That list includes Collin Cowgill, Will Venable and a slew of others in camp. It also includes Tyler Naquin, the Indians’ No. 6 prospect according to Baseball America.



Naquin was already the key prospect to watch this spring and the one with the best chance to make an impact in 2016 within the competition in the outfield. Suddenly, Naquin’s chances of making the team look a little brighter.



“It’s going to open up an opportunity for somebody,” Francona told reporters in Goodyear on Saturday. “We told Naquin, even before Abe, that he’s right smack in the middle of some competition. … We need to balance a lot of different things—roles, positions, things like that. More often than not, guy has a good camp, it puts yourself in a good light. We told him, it might not always happen on your timetable or your schedule, but if you can help a major league team, you find a way to help.”



Addressing teammates



On Saturday, Almonte addressed his teammates a day after finding out the news of his suspension.



Almonte took full responsibility for the failed drug test, per Indians GM Mike Chernoff. On Saturday, Almonte added that he’s not sure how the banned drug Boldenone, the one that caused the failed test, got into his system, according to MLB.com.



The only thing certain is that the Indians will be without one of the leading contenders for the center field job for nearly half the season.