Minnesota Twins: Ervin Santana; Most Valuable Player?


It’s easy to look at the starting staff of the Minnesota Twins and see nothing but a failed 2016 season.

From top rookies to guys who were deadline steals, life has not been easy for the Minnesota Twins.

However, one guy has proven to be a model of consistency for a team that has lacked just that all season.

Ervin Santana.

In just his second season with the Twins, Santana has proven to be a true Ace of the staff, taking over where veterans like Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes failed.

He’s been the top starter for the Twins and an invaluable piece of the team despite numerous trade rumors.

More from Puckett's Pond

For the most part, Santana has kept his composure and has really hit his stride over the course of the second half.

After starting the season 1-7 with a 5.10 ERA, Santana has failed to go more than five innings just twice while allowing a max of just three earned runs once.

He has been let down by his defense a few times but has shown a killer mentality willing to step up.

In comparison, the likes of Kyle Gibson, Hector Santiago and Tyler Duffey have all failed to find their groove.

Santana is 15th in the American League in ERA at 3.39 and in a tie for 17th in quality starts at 14.

After that, there is a severe drop off on the team.

Gibson is second on the team in ERA at 5.09 while Santiago has a 10.89, Duffey with 5.93 and Jose Berrios at 9.28.

Overall, the Minnesota Twins own a starter ERA of 5.40.

Can you imagine if Santana was traded?

Perhaps this can act as a sort of catalyst to get the players motivated. Who knows, maybe it will also put the rest of the staff on notice.

This is not an acceptable performance.

I’m not sure how likely it will be we see Duffey as a starter next season if he shows even the slightest signs of struggling during Spring ball.

But perhaps his most important role will be that of mentor to the younger pitchers like Berrios.

Same goes for Santiago who was a trade candidate prior to his horrific first set of starts with the team.

There’s no guarantee for Tommy Milone to be a starter either.

So as seen, there is a severe lack of a No. 2 starter after Santana. So far, he is proving to be worth the big contract.

And given how (allegedly) committed to him the front office seems, there’s no reason to expect him to leave.

And that’s a good thing.

Since joining the Twins, he has picked up the slack left by Hughes and Nolasco.

But perhaps his most important role will be that of mentor to the younger pitchers like Berrios.

Also with a few new names waiting in the wings, Santana’s value may be more important to the Twins than a handful of potential prospects they would get in a trade.

Next: A Stronger Second Half

It’s food for thought as the Twins enter a transition period where we will see if they are future contenders.