It may be early in spring training, but the Indians and manager Terry Francona are already preparing for a long season, and with it comes the thought of moving 1B/DH Carlos Santana to the leadoff spot.
Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal reported today comments by Francona about the possible idea of moving CSan to batting first since if there's one thing he does well, it's get on base.
“The one thing I’ve thought about is maybe Santana leading off,” Francona said. “It’s only a thought. Because of his skill-set, I think he’d be maybe one of the better lead-off hitters in the game. I know it seems a little unique, maybe out of the box, and you’ve got to have somebody hit clean-up. Again, I don’t know if I’d do it or not. But it’s something I’ve thought about.”
Santana’s career .365 on-base percentage makes it an appealing thought having him hit from the leadoff position, setting the table for guys like Jason Kipnis, Mike Napoli, Yan Gomes and others.
Last season Santana hit in the two hole for 30 games, and in those 30 games hit just .196. According to Francona, Santana didn't like hitting out of the two spot, and he would have to change his mindset hitting in the leadoff spot for the Tribe.