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Santana's versatility a luxury for Tribe

MLB.com

CHICAGO --- Carlos Santana, now the Indians' starting third baseman, moved back to his natural position behind the plate for the third time this season on Saturday to spell Yan Gomes.

The rotation is designed to keep Santana fresh and reduce the stresses catching has on his body while taking advantage of his potent bat.

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CHICAGO --- Carlos Santana, now the Indians' starting third baseman, moved back to his natural position behind the plate for the third time this season on Saturday to spell Yan Gomes.

The rotation is designed to keep Santana fresh and reduce the stresses catching has on his body while taking advantage of his potent bat.

View Full Game Coverage

"No team has their backup catcher as their cleanup hitter … that's a pretty big advantage," manager Terry Francona said.

Santana has started in all 12 games this season, including six at third and three as the designated hitter, where he was slotted for Sunday's game. Francona applauded Santana's ability to take care of his body while switching positions so frequently.

"Well he does anyway. He always does," Francona said. "He's a little beat up today, that's why we're DHing him. And that will certainly be something we'll have to keep track of."

Santana is off to a slow start in 2014. Through 12 games, he's put up a slash line of .179/.396/.231 with no home runs and just one RBI. Francona said Santana's rotation between positions is not the reason for his early struggles.

"He's not swinging that bat right now like he can, but no. He's gonna, he's a good hitter," Francona said.

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Cleveland Indians, Carlos Santana