No, not that guitarist Carlos Santana and his 1999 number 1 US hit. This is much more important...
The messiah is finally here. Carlos Santana made his much anticipated debut for the Indians last night in a 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. With Santana's arrival, Cleveland fans are hoping the highly rated prospect can usher in a new era of Indians baseball, one of success and triumph.
As most fans already know, the Indians acquired Santana from the Dodgers in the trade for Casey Blake in July 2008 - obviously one of the better deals Mark Shapiro has executed in his time. Since then Carlos has set fire to the minor leagues and quickly became the most talented prospect in the majors (forgetting Strasburg and Heyward). He had a fantastic season with Akron in 2009 and so far in AAA Colombus this year he was batting a .316 average with 13 HRs and 51 RBIs, along with 45 walks and even 6 stolen bases (for a catcher too!). There is no doubting the power and quality of his bat, but many in the media felt Santana was not called up sooner because the Indians felt he needed more time to develop his defensive tools, particularly throwing out potential base runners.
Well it was only a matter of time before Santana got the call, and he acted quickly to put any doubts to rest about his ability to throw out would-be base stealers. The Nationals tested Santana in the very first inning after the speedy Nyjer Morgan had reached base on a single off of Westbrook. Morgan got a good jump but Santana was quick to his feet and made a close play to get him out, a play which proved to be very important as Westbrook was struggling early on and really needed the help to get out of that inning without too much damage done. As for Santana's offensive performance in his debut, he didn't have a great night but nobody can expect the guy to produce the goods straight away; gotta give him a few days to get used to his job as a major league player. Manny Acta surprised most fans by opting to place Carlos in the heart of the lineup right away, instead of putting him towards the bottom of the order as many expected. Unfortunately he couldn't record his first hit, but he did reach base and get across the plate for his first run, and managed to record his first walk later on as well.
It is unlikely Santana will play again tonight against the Nationals, as Carmona prefers to have Mike Redmond as his personal catcher, so we're set to see Strasburg vs Santana on Sunday, the battle of the prospects. I'm sure Santana will continue to develop well this year - I also have him in my fantasy team so I too have promoted him into my lineup and hope he'll quickly start producing the goods if I am to maintain my challenge for the title. With Santana finally arriving in Cleveland, hopefully this puts an end to the pain many fans still feel towards the loss of Victor Martinez last year. We now have a new number 41 to cheer for.
Thanks for reading.
Oh yeah, England play the USA tonight in the World Cup (like you didn't know that anyway). So apologies to any of my readers from across the pond, but COME ON ENGLAND!