Hector Santiago scuffled in three months of the season with a 5.25 ERA but bounced back with a 6-0 record and 1.78 ERA in six starts in July. He was then surprisingly traded to the Twins and failed to adapt to his new club, posting a 5.58 ERA with 13 home runs allowed in 11 starts. Santiago has always been one of the most flyball-heavy pitchers in the league and compounds that problem with a lack of control. Both issues were exacerbated last season with a career-worst 1.63 HR/9 and poor 3.91 BB/9. Perhaps Minnesota's new brain trust can harness his July success. While he'll likely enter the season comfortably in the middle of the Twins' rotation, he'll need to reverse last year's trends to keep a spot in the rotation and earn one on fantasy clubs. This is a contract year for Santiago, and the Twins would undoubtedly like to trade him to a contending team this summer, so it is in everyone's best interest that he gets off to a strong start.
Santiago (2-1) allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out six over 6.1 innings in Friday's 6-3 win over the Tigers. It's his third straight quality start, and much as he did in 2016, Santiago is putting together a strong beginning to the season, sporting a 2.19 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 17:4 K:BB through 24.2 innings. Things fell apart quickly for the lefty once the calendar flipped to May last year, but his 2017 run of excellence may not be done quite yet -- his next trip to the mound comes Wednesday on the road against a Rangers team with a paltry .240 wOBA against left-handers so far this season.
Santiago threw seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks, but got a no-decision in Sunday's loss to the White Sox. Santiago left with a 1-0 lead, but the bullpen blew the lead late in the game and in extra innings. Santiago has a 1.47 ERA after three starts. While he has just a 5.5 K/9, he's also has just a 1.5 BB/9. Walks have been a problem for Santiago with a walk rate above 3.5 BB/9 each of the last five seasons, so his improved control is reason for optimism.
Santiago (1-1) gave up two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out out one over 6.1 innings Tuesday but took the loss as the Twins fell 2-1 to the Tigers. On an afternoon when offense was at a premium, Santiago made only one mistake, but that was enough as James McCann drilled the first pitch he saw in the fifth inning to left-center field for a two-run homer. Much as he did last season Santiago has gotten off to a good start to 2017, posting a 2.38 ERA through his first two outings, but his 5:3 K:BB in 11.1 innings suggests fantasy GMs shouldn't expect that success to continue. The left-hander's next trip to the mound will come Sunday at home against the White Sox.
Santiago (1-0) allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings in Wednesday's 9-1 win over the Royals. It wasn't the most efficient outing, as Santiago needed 88 pitches to get through five innings, but despite falling behind in the count most of the day he was able to induce weak contact or get a strikeout when it mattered. The left-hander has consistently out-performed his FIP throughout his career, but after managing an ugly 5.58 ERA in 11 starts after being acquired by Minnesota last season, Santiago will be looking to get his ERA back under 4.00 as it was in 2013-15. His next start is scheduled for Tuesday in Detroit.
Santiago threw 2.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts Sunday in his second spring start. His next outing will be with Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Santiago bounced back from an ugly first spring start in which he gave up five runs on two home runs over an inning of work. Santiago is assured of a spot in Minnesota's rotation to begin the season, but he could have a short leash if he struggles early after career worsts last season in ERA, FIP and K/9.
|@ GLOBE LIFE PARK IN ARLINGTON||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|