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Spring Training Notes 3/21: Carlos Santana set for return

A day away from the fields of Arizona was just enough for Carlos Santana to get re-acclimated with the Tribe's spring training facility in Goodyear after spending two weeks at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Focus has shifted for Carlos Santana over the last three days.

Since the Dominican Republic lost 6-3 to the United States on Saturday night at Petco Park, the power-hitting first baseman has flown back to Goodyear, AZ where he will return to Cactus League action on Wednesday afternoon.

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- Aside from Andrew Miller, Francisco Lindor, Roberto Perez and Joseph Colon, all representing either the United States or Puerto Rico, the Indians have welcomed back seven of their 11 players participating in the 2017 WBC.

"I had fun," said Santana to reporters on Monday. "I wanted to go to LA, but this happens with baseball. We lost, but I'll come back here and be happy."

Santana batted .308 (8-for-26) with two 2Bs and three RBIs over six games played at the international tournament. He expects to start at first base against the Rockies tomorrow.

- Terry Francona has employed a new rotation at third base with Yandy Diaz, Richie Shaffer, Giovanny Urshela and Michael Martinez all logging playing time this past week. By testing the waters with a variety of hot corner options, Francona may shift Jose Ramirez to second base, his primary position in the minor leagues.

"That's probably his most comfortable position," Francona said of Ramirez's experience at 2B. "We just want to give him some reps there just to keep every option open."

If Jason Kipnis were to miss more than his four to five weeks of expected recovery time, then an internal replacement at 3B is a possibility.

On the spring, Diaz is hitting .417 (10-for-24) with seven RBIs, Shaffer has a team-leading four home runs and Martinez has registered a .357 (15-for-42) batting average while playing five different positions in the field.

"We're starting to get to that point where people are pointing toward opening day," said Francona about his team’s injuries and how they impact the Game 1 roster. "I just want to be careful what I say."

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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