Aug 27, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana (41) reacts after the Atlanta Braves scored twice during the second inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Indians 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Santana Continues to Develop at Third Base
Yesterday, Carlos Santana made another start at the hot corner and Wahoo’s on First’s very own Nick Wheatley-Schaller was able to watch some of it. We aren’t exactly sure how he does it. The popular theory is that he made a pact with a group of Cuban nationals that provided him with top-secret military access codes that allowed him to tap into a series of Japanese satellites. These Satellites then enabled him to break through several encryptions and fire walls and all sorts of stuff that none of us understand in order to watch these games.
Or he has access to ESPN 3, but that seems totally unlikely.
Anyways, Nick was once again able to provide the Wahoo’s on First email chain with some gifs of Santana making plays at third base during yesterday’s game between Leones del Escogido and Tigres del Licey. Licey ended up winning the game by a score of 5-1, but it was Santana’s play at third base for Escogido that we should all be concerned with.
In the first gif, we can see a sharp grounder hit down the third base line. Santana ranges to his right showing a fair amount of agility and is able to slide step himself into a position to field the ball. One more step to his right to set himself and plant his back leg and Santana fires a strike over to first base. It’s a rather routine play and one that he makes with a relative amount of each. That is an encouraging sign if ever there was one.
In the next gif, we get to see how Santana handles a run down. with runners on second and third, the batter hits a sharp grounder to first. The first baseman fires home in order to cut the runner off and keep it a two run game. Escogido’s catcher begins chasing the runner back to third before finally tossing the ball to Santana, who is covering at third. While the end result is a positive for Escogido, Santana does make one minor mistake. He gives the ball back up to the catcher too soon. Rather than chasing the runner down a bit, Santana almost immediately fires a short-armed throw back to the catcher. It got the job down, but looks a bit awkward and goes against conventional baseball wisdom.
The third and final gif shows us Santana making a charging play on a weak chopper. Unfortunately, we have the pleasure of seeing some random dude clapping in the middle of the play. You know, the part where Santana charges and actually catches the baseball. However, it appears that Santana did a good job of charging the ball and smothering it into his gut. He then takes the time to set himself and resists the temptation to throw across the diamond off balance on the run. The end result is another strike to end the inning.
Again, this is hardly enough to pass judgement on the Carlos Santana at third base experiment. However, what it does show us is a player that does not appear to be completely lost at the position. He looks comfortable and, in the gifs above, makes the necessary plays. When spring training opens next month, this will surely be the story line that garners the most attention. Until then, we can only wait and see what happens.