Minnesota Twins: Ervin Santana getting closer to returning

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The Minnesota Twins have already experienced their share of misfortune to start this season. However, today we have some good news to talk about.

Ervin Santana has started his Minor League rehab assignment for the Minnesota Twins. Last night, Santana toed the rubber for the first time during the 2018 season. Unfortunately, things didn’t go very well for him while pitching for Chattanooga.

Facing the Montgomery Biscuits, Santana surrendered one home run while allowing two earned runs across two innings pitched. Santana exited the game with one strikeout and zero walks after 45 pitches.

Although he didn’t dominate during his start on Wednesday night, this is a big step forward for Santana. Santana is on course to rejoin the Twins rotation soon, barring any setbacks. However, the Twins rotation is currently a strength for this team. For Minnesota, there will be no need to rush Santana back too soon.

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The impact Santana will have

When he is healthy, Ervin Santana is among the MLB’s best starting pitchers. Every Major League rotation needs an innings eater and Santana has proven he can handle a heavy workload. Santana has pitched over 200 innings in a season six times during his career.

He tossed 211 1/3 innings for the Minnesota Twins last season while leading the league with five complete games and three shutouts. Santana played a huge role in helping the Twins reach the postseason during the 2017 season. The right-hander finished the year 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA and a 2.74 K/BB ratio.

Santana also has something to prove upon returning. Due to starting the season on the disabled list, Santana is unlikely to pitch enough innings in order to guarantee his option for the 2019 season. He has four months to show that he’s healthy and still the same possible staff ace.

Next: Five names for the Twins to target in a trade

If I were a betting man, I would place my money on Santana dominating during this season. It may not happen as soon as he comes back, but it will happen. Santana has top of the rotation “stuff” and will put the current rotation on another level.

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