On Thursday, Carlos Santana slid for the first time since undergoing surgery on his left knee in August. "That completed his rehab," said manager Manny Acta. Next thing on Santana's spring-training checklist is learning how to play first base. Eduardo Perez and Mike Hargrove, former first basemen and recently hired by the Indians, will help him in the weeks to come. Don't get excited. Santana is still the Indians' starting catcher, but they want to find ways to keep his bat in the lineup, while giving his legs a break. There are two ways to do that: Play Santana at first base and DH. The Indians did the same thing with Victor Martinez before he was traded to Boston. Santana says he will have no problem at first. "I was a good third baseman with the Dodgers," said Santana. "I played outfield before that. I have good hands and a good arm. I don't think there's much difference between first and third." Acta said Santana will start getting work at first base next week and will play there in some Cactus League games. "When teams have offensive catchers like Santana, Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez, to keep their legs fresh, this is the next step," said Acta. "Especially in the American League where you can DH them."
Carlos Santana to get some work at first base
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Feb 18