Minnesota Twins: Hector Santiago Returns After Disabled List Stint

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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 returns to the mound for the Minnesota Twins after resting his shoulder. If he is able to pitch well, the Twins could gain legitimacy.

The pitching staff for the Minnesota Twins looked as if it was a piece or two from being complete early on in the season. Ervin Santana was pitching well and Jose Berrios started to show he could excel at the top level. Then Hector Santiago, who had pitched great through the first month and a half, started to slip fast. Now, after a stint on the disabled list, he is back in the starting rotation.

Santiago has rejoined the Twins in Boston as he gets set to make his first start since June 6th. During that last start, Santiago pitched just 2.2 innings, giving up five earned runs on three hits to the Seattle Mariners. It has been awhile since Santiago has pitched well.

Santiago had a 2.76 ERA on May 9th after his start against the White Sox, which is his last win. After that, Santiago has not been the same. His next time out, on May 14th against Cleveland, he went just 2.2 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits. His ERA ballooned to 3.80 that day. It currently sits at 5.26, just four starts and a relief appearance later.

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Tuesday night, Santiago pitches against Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz has been hit or miss since the Red Sox acquired him in a trade with the Padres last season. He is currently 6-4 with a 4.07 ERA. While Santiago has struggled, this could be a great opportunity for him to get back on track. He will also be well-rested after being able to give some rest to a sore shoulder.

Santiago needs to show he can still pitch effectively for the Twins. While his struggles may have been from a sore shoulder, the Twins need him now as they head down the stretch toward the trade deadline. If he pitches effectively, like he did to start the season, the Twins will be looked at as a contender more than a pretender.

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It is hard to say how Tuesday’s start will go for Santiago. On one hand, he has struggled. On the other, he was dealing with a sore shoulder. Either way, it could determine how Santiago’s role will look the rest of the season. A good start will give Santiago a little slack to work with. A bad one could put him on a short leash. Hopefully, he can get back on track.

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