CLEVELAND -- The Indians know this much: catching prospect Carlos Santana will be wearing a Major League uniform before Labor Day.
Will he be with the Indians before the All-Star break? Tribe manager Manny Acta hasn't ruled that out, either.
"There's a chance," Acta said. "We have heard some good reports on Carlos, certainly more positive things than negative things.
"Put it this way, he'll be here by Sept. 1."
Santana, acquired by the Indians in a 2008 trade that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers, entered Thursday hitting .307 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 56 games for Triple-A Columbus this season.
The 24-year-old Dominican Republic native has posted a robust 1.008 OPS with the Clippers.
"He's been a hitter his whole life," Acta said.
Acta hopes the touted slugger can grow to be just as effective behind the plate. Through Wednesday, Santana had thrown out 23 percent of attempted basestealers (9-of-40).
"His problem is not throwing itself," Acta said. "At times, he worries about throwing 100 mph, way too hard. He's got a cannon of an arm, and he wants people to see it."
Tribe fans want to see Santana, too. But when the backstop does arrive to the big leagues, it won't be because he's a finished product.
"He's one of those players who, even when he gets here, will be a work in progress defensively," Cleveland general manager Mark Shapiro said.
Finalists for 'All-Stars Among Us' announced
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have announced three their finalists for the 2010 "PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us" campaign, which recognizes individuals who serve the community in extraordinary ways.
Steve Crothers (Heath, Ohio), Robin Sirkin (University Heights, Ohio) and Terry Grahl (Taylor, Mich.) were among 90 finalists -- three per each Major League Baseball club -- selected from thousands of submissions by fans across the United States and Canada.
Fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite community "All-Stars" at www.PeopleAllStars.com through June 20. Thirty "All-Stars," one representing every MLB team, will be honored during 2010 All-Star Week in Anaheim, Calif., including the pregame ceremony during the July 13 All-Star Game on FOX at 8 p.m. ET.
Crothers fronts a group that annually serves Christmas dinner to more than 600 local people in need. Sirkin chairs The Up Side of Downs, a non-profit organization providing support, education and advocacy for people with Down syndrome, their families and communities in Northeast Ohio. In January 2007, Grahl founded Enchanted Makeovers, an internationally recognized non-profit organization that refurbishes shelters for women and children.
The Indians on Thursday released second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and right-handed reliever Jamey Wright. Both veterans had been designated for assignment by the club and are now free agents. ... Recently demoted first baseman/left fielder Matt LaPorta had a monster night for Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday, blasting three home runs and collecting five RBIs in a 4-for-4 showing. ... Right-hander Carlos Carrasco struck out nine and yielded just three hits over eight shutout innings Wednesday in Columbus' 8-0 win against Rochester. He has won his past three starts. ... Outfielder Michael Brantley is hitting .361 (22-for-61) with runners on base for the Clippers this season. ... For more on the Tribe, check out the CastroTurf blog at http://castrovince.mlblogs.com.
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.