For most of spring training reports from Indians camp suggested that Carlos Santana was struggling with his attempted transition from catcher to third base, but apparently manager Terry Francona disagreed with those assessments.
Francona just told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that Santana will be the Indians’ primary third base, which means last year’s primary third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall’s role is likely diminished and very much in flux. Or as Francona put it: “I’m not exactly sure how that’s going to play itself out.”
Santana has never played a game at third base in the majors and last played there as a minor leaguer way back in 2008 at Single-A, but the Indians decided they’d rather have Yan Gomes behind the plate and wanted to avoid moving Santana to designated hitter. Santana as a DH seemingly would have been an easy choice, especially considering they didn’t add another big bat for the DH spot after instead shifting him to third base, but Francona and company clearly believe he’s capable of being decent defensively.
SAN DIEGO — The Baseball Writers Association of America has named the late Boston Globe columnist, Nick Cafardo, the winner of the 2020 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown next July. Cafardo died suddenly last February at the age of 62 while covering the Red Sox at spring training in Fort Myers.
Cafardo, who covered baseball in New England for 35 years, received 243 votes from the 427 ballots cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years’ service. He becomes the 71st winner of the award since its inception in 1962. Jim Reeves, an award-winning columnist and baseball writer in a 40-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, received 108 votes. Patrick Reusse, who has covered the Twins for decades, got 76.
Cafardo worked at the Brockton Enterprise and the Quincy Patriot-Ledger before joining the Boston Globe as baseball columnist in 1989, where he inherited the Sunday notes column, founded by Peter Gammons. Cafardo covered more than 30 World Series, All-Star Games and Winter Meetings. He wrote four baseball books and won the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year Award in 2014 and the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dave O’Hara Award in 2017.
Cafardo becomes the first posthumous winner of the award since his Boston Globe colleague, Larry Whiteside, in 2008.