Minnesota Twins: It’s Time for Santiago to Go; But Where?

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Jun 6, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Hector Santiago (53) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 6, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Hector Santiago (53) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Hector Santiago started off hot in 2017, but things have gotten frigid fast for the lefty. The problem for the Minnesota Twins is they are stuck with him.

Hector Santiago has always had a better ERA then his other numbers suggest he should have. His career FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is nearly a full run higher than his ERA. It appears that Santiago was letting that improved Minnesota Twins outfield do the work for him in the month of April. He only gave up two home runs for the month.

Now, unfortunately, the trio of speedy of young outfields aren’t able to save him anymore. That is because Santiago is giving up home runs at an alarming rate. He has given up a home run in all but one outing since the start of May. That is a total of twelve home runs in just over 27 innings pitched.

Meaning, he’s giving up a home run about every two and a half innings. Unless, the Twins try to put Robbie Grossman in the stands with a glove, and let Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario catch everything else, there is no helping Santiago right now. (Wait could that work? Never mind, moving on.)

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If Santiago is not helping the Minnesota Twins he should go, right?

Well not so fast. I know that you are probably reading this thinking the Twins are known as a Mecca of pitching prospects. For instance… ummm…. Nick Tepesch? Oh you don’t like that one and he’s not really a prospect? I see. How about Aaron Slegers? Oh you don’t like that one, either? How about David Hurlbut, or Adam Wilk. Hold on, I know you are going to say, “Hey what about player X?” and my response to that is; chances are they are not ready, due to injury or age.

The point is to say, as bad as Santiago has been, the names above represent the current options the Twins have for replacing him at the time being. None of the players that we have seen so far appear to show the ability to bring the upside Santiago showed at the beginning of the season. The other options, Slegers and Hurlbut have never been considered great prospects. Both have solid minor league numbers and have stuff that might not work well in the big leagues.

Next: Sano Leading AL Third Base All-Star Vote

Hector Santiago is currently bad and hurting the Minnesota Twins at the moment. His starts have turned from great, to awful in the span of one month. Personally, I wish the Twins were able to get rid of Santiago, mostly due to his underwhelming track record. However, with as bad as Kyle Gibson can be, and how thin the replacements are, I think it’s safe to say you can feel good about bringing your glove to the bleachers for the foreseeable future.

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