Posts in this series:
|Catcher||First Base||Second Base|
|Shortstop||Third Base||Designated Hitter|
|Left Field||Center Field||Right Field|
|Starting Pitching||Relief Pitching|
Part I: Review
Carlos Santana and Lou Marson started the season as catching prospects, and each got a chance to play. Marson started the season as the Indians' starting catcher, and even though he has the skill set to be a starting major-league catcher, he was just keeping the position warm until Carlos Santana was deemed ready to play or was least likely to attain Super Two status after the 2012 season. Santana was recalled on June 11th, and made an immediate impact at the plate, hitting .260/.401/.467 in 46 games. Santana injured his knee in a collision at home plate, and underwent season-ending surgery in August, so Marson finished the season as the starter. Mike Redmond was brought in to back up Marson, and was let go on July 16th. Chris Gimenez served as the primary backup the rest of the season. Luke Carlin, who was picked up to help Columbus down the stretch of their season, was recalled in mid-September and got into 6 games at the end of the season.
Both Marson and Santana were very good in stopping the run; Marson has a quicker release, Santana has the better arm, but both were equally effective in throwing out runners attempting to steal. As a team, the Indians finished third in the AL in Caught Stealing Percentage, in the middle of the pack with 11 Passed Balls. Defense was not a problem here.
The Indians' catchers managed a 90 OPS+ thanks to Santana's contributions, which was good enough for 7th in the AL, one of the few positions in which they cracked the top half of the league.
As you can see in this breakdown, Santana carried the positional mail, matching Marson's extra-base totals in less than half the games.
Part II: Looking Towards 2011
Not Coming Back
Mike Redmond (Released, 7-16-10)
Redmond was to help Marson along in his first season as a starter, but Mike couldn't run, couldn't throw, and couldn't really hit. Chris Gimenez replaced him as the backup catcher in mid-July. Redmond announced his retirement earlier this month.
Carlos Santana (Pre-Arbitration) - 1 Option Year Remaining
Lou Marson (Pre-Arbitration) - 1 Option Year Remaining
Chris Gimenez (Pre-Arbitration) - 1 Option Year Remaining
The Indians don't have to worry much about this position this offseason, other than monitoring Santana's rehab.
If Santana is healthy, he'll be the starting catcher. Before the injury, the Indians were going to have him learn to play first base so that he could stay in the lineup on his normal days off, which would have perhaps allowed the Indians to give Lou Marson enough playing time to keep the rust off him. But now that Santana will spend his off-season rehabbing his knee, I would think that those plans have been delayed, and Santana will be just a catcher at least to start the 2011 season.
Both Marson and Gimenez have an option year remaining, so the Indians can go with either as Santana's backup. I'm going to guess they'll send Marson to Columbus, at least until they can give Santana some playing time at first base.
To Be Determined
Luke Carlin (Pre-Arbitration) - No Option Years
Carlin will likely be DFAd this fall or non-tendered in December to make room for a prospect or free agent on the 40-man roster.