After Stephen Strasburg and Mike Stanton made their respective debuts earlier in the week, Carlos Santana will make his tonight for the Indians:
The club recalled switch-hitting catcher Carlos Santana from Triple-A Columbus on Friday before the Indians begin a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, who will give Strasburg his first major league road start in the finale on Sunday.
Santana, regarded as one of the best prospects in the majors, was batting .316 with 13 homers and 51 RBIs in 57 games for the Clippers.
Perhaps the best hitter in Cleveland's entire organization, the Indians kept him in the minor leagues this season to work on his receiving skills and overall defense.
Among the 14 American League teams, Cleveland's offense ranks 10th in batting average (.246), 12th in slugging (.367), 12th in runs scored (236, 4.1 per-game average) and 13th in home runs (38).
"We had challenged Carlos," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said. "It's clear that his bat had dictated a call-up a while ago. But in the last two or three weeks he has made significant strides in his defensive aspects -- his game calling, leading the staff and his throwing."
Given how poorly the Indians offense has performed this season, Santana will be a welcome addition offensively. This guy can flat out hit and he should be an impact player from the get go for the struggling Indians. Santana's arrival to the majors should be a welcome boost for the Indians and their fans, who have had little to cheer about this season. Kudos to GM Mark Shapiro and the Indians for resisting the urge to promote Santana until they felt that his defense was ready. It would have been easy to promote Santana especially in the wake of losing Grady Sizemore for the season, but the patient approach seems to have been the right approach.