Minnesota Twins: Danny Santana Playing Time Contributing to Stalling Offense
Danny Santana was called up to the Minnesota Twins in 2014 and had a terrific season at the plate. Now he can help by sitting.
Danny Santana was called up to the Minnesota Twins in 2014, splitting time in center field and shortstop, and had a terrific season at the plate. At two positions not known to provide much offense, Santana contributed a .319 batting average to go along with a .824 OPS.
While those contributions were impressive, his struggles this season have hurt the offense.
Part of what made Santana so successful in 2014 was his high batting average on balls in play (BABIP). In 2014 Santana’s BABIP was .405, nearly one-hundred points higher when compared to the Minnesota Twins team total of .309, which ranked 5th in the MLB in this category.
When a player has a high average due to high BAPIP it normally means a regression is coming, and indeed it did. In the two years following Santana’s great rookie season he has held a .215 and .240 batting average respectively.
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Danny Santana now finds himself in a super utility role in 2017, primarily filling in as an outfielder but can play nearly every spot on the diamond.
The thing that has Twins fans scratching their heads is this: Santana has started a quarter of the Twins first 16 games.
Santana even made a pinch hitting appearance in Tuesday night’s loss to Cleveland. Two men on with two outs, the Minnesota Twins were trying to overcome a 5-run deficit in the 8th.
Santana was lifted for Eddie Rosario, who was two for three on the night. He promptly stuck out, ending any threat of a rally, and currently sits at .133 on the season.
This might be explained as manager Paul Molitor wanting to keep his bench engaged. However, Santana is taking at bats away from the young outfielders that need them the most. Max Kepler is off to a hot start and Byron Buxton needs all the at bats he can get to see if he can get going at the plate.
Next: Minnesota Twins Hitting Needs To Improve
Players will need their rest, that is to be sure. But when the Minnesota Twins have had three off days early in the season, playing Santana any more than necessary will only hurt their chances to put runs on the board.