Aug 2, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcherErvin Santana
(30) pitches during the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Ervin Santana Strikeouts: 175
Pitching in the National League for the first time in his career a season ago, Ervin Santana fared well with the Atlanta Braves. He posted a 3.95 ERA along with 179 strikeouts in 196 innings for the Braves. With the Twins needing more strikeout pitchers in their rotation, Santana should provide plenty of that.
With that in mind, the 179 strikeouts Santana posted last season are the second highest mark in his career (totaled 214 in 2008 with the Angels). In 2013 while pitching with the Royals in the AL Central, Santana struck out only 161 batters across 211 innings. Expecting Santana to duplicate the success he had last season in the lesser hitting National League might be somewhat of a pipe dream.
Even if he experiences a slight decrease in strikeouts, the Twins only featured three pitchers with strikeout totals over 100 last season, and only one pitcher with more than 115 strikeouts. Ricky Nolasco should be somewhere around 130 this season, with Phil Hughes registering a total in the high 100’s again, but Santana should join them as well. I would lean towards Santana finishing his first year with the Twins throwing around 160 strikeouts.
Prediction: Under 175 strikeouts for Ervin Santana