Minnesota Twins: Ervin Santana set to return

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Starting pitcher Ervin Santana
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Starting pitcher Ervin Santana /

Finally, some good news about the Minnesota Twins on the injury front.

The Minnesota Twins will welcome Ervin Santana back into the fold when he makes his 2018 debut on Wednesday. He was expected to return to the rotation weeks ago. However, things haven’t gone well for Santana during his rehab process.

Minnesota has been largely disappointing to this point of the season. Santana would have helped keep this team afloat early during the season. However, that’s not how things have worked out and Santana has given the Twins bupkis during the 2018 season.

Although José Berríos has blossomed into a star, Minnesota has floundered without their stalwart at the top of the rotation. However, Santana still has time to show that he’s healthy and can provide some value to the Twins this season.

What kind of value?

The hope is that Santana can still generate some trade interest before the end of the non-waiver trade deadline. However, he’ll make only two starts, at best, and will need to show zero signs of rust. That’s what will make it difficult for the Twins to be able to trade him before the end of the month.

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On the bright side, Santana has the type of salary that the team can pass through waivers during August. Major trades happen in August too, Justin Verlander went from the Tigers to the Astros during last season, and Santana’s services should be in high demand.

On the other hand…

The Minnesota Twins have a chance to do damage during this season even despite the recent results. Cleveland has done nothing to pull away in the AL Central and Minnesota’s rotation stacks up against the best in baseball.

Santana can provide a lot of value to this rotation as this season comes to a close. He has a 4.02 earned run average to go along with 149 wins during his 14-year career. He has been a workhorse throughout his career with more than 200 innings during six seasons.

Coupled with Berríos, Santana gives this team a tremendous one-two punch in the rotation when he’s right. With Kyle Gibson pitching above his pay grade for more than a calendar year now, and Lance Lynn pitching up to his potential recently, this team can cause problems during the second half.

Although Minnesota has stumbled out of the gate during the second half, it’s not yet time to wave the white flag. This team has a ton of valuable trade chips and that’s because they’re impactful players. Know what impactful players do for a baseball team? They can help you win more than you lose.

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As Twins fans, we want to see this rotation the way it was supposed to look all season. Santana number one, followed by Berríos, Gibson, Lynn, and Jake Odorizzi. That rotation stacks up against any team in MLB and for the next two months Minnesota should find out what they can do.