08/17/12 9:40 PM ET
Tomlin getting second opinion on sore elbow
By Jeff Fletcher / Special to MLB.com
Acta credits confidence for Carrera's turnaround
OAKLAND -- Ezequiel Carrera is proof of how much difference a new attitude and a little experience can make.The 25-year-old Indians outfielder is hitting .389 in 13 games since he was recalled a couple of weeks ago. When Carrera was in the Majors last year, he hit .243 in 68 games. The difference? "I think he is more relaxed this time around," Indians Manager Manny Acta said. "Last year when he was up here, he was not so secure, by himself, looking over his shoulder and thinking he was being evaluated game to game. This time he came up and he knew he was going to have a legit opportunity to get more playing time so he has been able to play better." Carrera, who came to the Indians in the Russell Branyan trade two years ago, is a left-handed-swinging slap hitter. So far, he's played primarily against right-handed pitchers. The Indians sat him on Friday in favor of Jason Donald -- for just his second big league game in the outfield -- to get another right-handed bat in the lineup against A's left-hander Tommy Milone. Still, Acta said that Carrera can work himself into playing against lefties. "He's got the ability to do that," Acta said. "It's going to be up to him. He's going to get a chance. He's going to play a lot before the year is over."
Acta comfortable with Santana's current situation
OAKLAND -- Carlos Santana's ability to play first base is a luxury for the Indians, who can give their catcher a night off from squatting while still keeping his bat in the lineup.Eventually, the question will become whether it's more than a luxury, but a necessity. However, Manny Acta isn't ready to suggest when, or if, Santana will move permanently from behind the plate to keep him healthy. "He's our catcher right now," Acta said on Friday. "I'm not going to speculate about what he can become in the future. That's not even discussed. He's our catcher right now." Santana, 26, has started 71 games at catcher, 17 at first base and 14 at designated hitter. As the cleanup hitter, he's a valuable cog in their lineup. They already experienced life without him in 2010, when he missed most of the season after being injured in a home-plate collision. For now, Acta sees no problem with continuing with the status quo. "Its nice," he said. "It gives you that versatility that you like to have. ... On the days I want him to rest his legs, having him at first base helps. It works for him and works for us."
Jeff Fletcher is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.