About Carlos Santana and Jon Meloan

Now that we’ve finished up the series with the Twins, and the whole Casey Blake trade has started to sink in, I thought it would be best to give the WFNY readers some info on the two players we received in return for Casey: Carlos Santana and Jon Meloan.

With All-Everything catcher Russell Martin playing in L.A. for the foreseeable future, trading a catching prospect to the Indians was a lot easier for the Dodgers to do than most other teams.  After the Tribe dealt Max Ramirez for a couple of months of a 40-plus Kenny Lofton, we desperately needed to bolster the farm system behind the plate.

With Meloan having less-than stellar numbers this season, perhaps the LA Blue thought that his once-heralded arm was done? 

I admit, when I saw that we received a pitcher with a 5-10 record at the Triple-A level, I was less than impressed.  But thanks to Paul over at The DiaTribe, my feelings were quickly brought back to life as I now have yet another prospect to look forward to – assuming we put him back in the bullpen where he belongs. 

Check out his numbers when he was in the ‘pen over the previous two seasons:

2007 (in AA and AAA)
2.03 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 91 K, 27 BB in 66 2/3 IP over 49 games
2006 (in A and AA)
1.90 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 91 K, 16 BB in 52 IP over 21 games

Is that anything short of amazing?  His strikeout rates are incredible, and he reportedly touches 97 with his CURVEBALL.  I mean, he almost had twice as many Ks as baserunners.  I’m no GM, but to put this guy in the starting rotation, and then leave him there after losing 10 games seems preposterous.  He has a five-pitch arsenal with a killer slider.  Couple all of this with the fact that he just turned 24-years of age, and the thinking here is that the other guy in this trade may not be too bad himself.

I say “other” guy as it seems that most fans are more enamoured with Santana – and for good reason. 

I bring you the thoughts from FireNedCollettiNow:

Projection-His defense is an unknown at this stage in his development, but his ceiling with the bat is similar to that of Russell Martin. He might not have Martin’s speed, but their skill set is similar. In fact, Santana might even have more power and gap potential than Martin does.

That’s the same Martin that frequents the All-Star game and has been one of the better hitters for the Dodgers over the past few seasons.  At 22-years old, Santana was simply tearing up Single-A ball.  With a clip of .323/.431/.563, Santana also leads the California League in RBI (96) and OPS (.994).  And for a guy that may or may not have good power, he also has 14 home runs and 34 doubles in only 99 games.

Even better?  Santana has struck out only 59 times, yet has walked 69 times.  Talk about plate discipline. 

Some Dodger fans questioned Santana’s ability to translate his current successes up the minor league ranks.   It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see the youngster’s name called up to the Akron level before the end of the season.  How the team handles Wyatt Toregas ahead of him remains to be seen.  Perhaps calling Chris Gimenez up in Septempber would allow Toregas to move to Buffalo, clearing space for Santana?  Neither Gimenez or Toregas have as high of a ceiling as Santana, so blocking his playing time would not be in the team’s best interest.  And if Andy Marte/Wes Hodges fail to work out as the long-term third base answer, Santana can play there as well.

If anything, this move will allow the Indians to hold on to Victor Martinez with the eventual move to first base.  And any move that keeps Victor’s bat in Cleveland’s line-up for any amount of time is a good move in my book.

  • Gabriel

    good to hear Meloan isn’t as bad as his first reported stats portrayed him to be. sometimes all pitchers need is a shift back to the bullpen to get their stuff back. but sometimes they go back and they still can’t get it back. we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • kiddicus maximus

    a 97 mph curveball? that should be fun to hit… or fun to catch if he leaves it hanging.

    I guess we’re really going to try Marte at 3B. Can’t say I’m behind that, but Blake was gone in ’09 anyway, so better to get something I suppose.

    What ever happened to the Peralta-3B, Cabrera-SS, Carrol/Barfield-2B? I’d like to see them give that a few looks now that we’re “building for next year”

  • cbus

    I can’t belive all the negative stuff i read about Marte, the kid hasn’t played 40 games this season or 135 games in his carreer yet. Talk about another Brandon Phillips situation.

    Look what Marte has done in the last 7 days (5 games) since being given the starting posistion at 3b

    SPLITS G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
    Last 7 5 17 2 5 0 0 2 3 2 4 0 0 .294 .368 .647 1.015

    How about we play the kid for the rest of the season and see if he can live up to that top prospect tag he had before we got him.

  • P@

    Well said, cbus. It’s way too early to start predicting that Marte is dead in the water. I think his strikeout totals are going to be way too high compared to his walk totals, but the same has always been true of other key players like Alfonso Soriano, Hanley Ramirez, and Ryan Howard, and those guys have given their teams some excellent production. Give Marte some more time before calling for his head.

  • http://www.bugsandcranks.com Jon

    Yep, good pickups, very good. Which we deserve since we’re paying the bearded one’s salary.

    What do you guys think of Reyes? Starting rotation next year?

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    If he can get that astronomical WHIP under wraps…

  • http://TheDiaTribe Paul

    On Meloan, that should be read as a fastball that has hit 97 MPH, not a 97 MPH curveball. Sorry for the confusion, but it should have been, “He reportedly has a fastball that sits around 92-94 and has touched 97, with a curveball as his secondary pitch.”
    Missed a comma.

    Doesn’t make me any less excited about him (though a 97 MPH curve is like a Bugs Bunny pitch), but I thought I should clarify.

    Keep up the great work here, guys!

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    wow….Paul C. on the message board….

    That’s it, from now on Scott will handle all of my attempts to contact the DiaTribe!