Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Knock-knock. Whos there? Carlos Santana!

The Indians have gotten off to a sluggish 2-5 start in 2010, and there are a bevy of reasons why. More reasons for sure, than any one player could be blamed for. More reasons than any one player can fix. The starting pitching has been mediocre at best. The relief pitching has been terrible, the defense questionable, and the management... well, you get the idea.

At catcher, rookie Lou Marson has struggled both with the bat (1 hit in 15 at-bats) and in the field as there have been a number of wild pitches that probably should've been blocked, and inexcusable passed balls. Simply put, he's struggling, and his inability to knock down pitches in the dirt is hurting the confidence of the pitching staff to be able to throw their breaking stuff.

If his struggles behind the plate continue, it's going to force the Indians front office to consider making a decision they don't really want to. Namely, going to the minor leagues for help. That's because 'help,' in this case would be super-prospect Carlos Santana, and they don't want to start his arbitration clock yet, as it would set in motion the ability for Santana to reach super-two status.

Often when a prospect wants to get called up, he'll politely, "knock on the door." He'll hit well, field his position, show coachability... all good things. What Santana is doing isn't quite the same thing. No, what he's doing is taking a 34 ounce sledge hammer to the door and pounding it to smithereens.

So far in his first taste of AAA, Santana has bashed 4 home runs in just 20 at-bats, with a pair of doubles and three singles mixed in for good measure. His triple slash right now stands at .450/.500/.1.150. It's just a 20 at-bat sample size, but given his performance last year, it's obviously no fluke, and at 24, it's going to be his time very soon. The question is, how long can the Indians management continue to look the other way?

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