Minnesota Twins: Welcome back Ervin Santana
Finally, the Minnesota Twins have welcomed back the “ace” of their pitching staff.
Ervin Santana made his 2018 Minnesota Twins debut this afternoon. The results were meh, but this is a positive step for the veteran right-hander. Santana has struggled to return from offseason finger surgery. However, his return comes at just the right time.
Although Santana didn’t factor into today’s decision, he was solid. He tossed five innings surrendering three earned runs on seven hits. He walked only one batter while striking out five with 97 pitches against the Blue Jays.
The Minnesota Twins are 10-5 over the last 15 games and that’s not counting today’s win in extra innings. Minnesota is a disappointing 46-53 during this season and Santana can help spark a turnaround. However, they currently trail the Cleveland Indians by eight games and if they’re going to make a push it needs to happen now.
Pitching has not been the issue for the Twins, especially once Lance Lynn turned things around. Jose Berrios has carried this rotation to this point of the season and Kyle Gibson has turned the corner for his career. Adding Santana to the mix, with Jake Odorizzi and (hopefully) Fernando Romero, gives this team a tough rotation.
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Minnesota was able to ride a hot second half into the Wild Card game during last season. There’s no reason for Twins fans to give up on this team while it’s still July. Although the Twins have valuable trade chips, the time to sell can come during August if that’s what their record suggests.
That’s where Santana’s impact could be felt the most during this season. First, he’ll need to have a string of successful starts to show that he’s back to health. A player with the type of résumé as Santana will fetch a decent prospect or two.
However, if Santana is pitching well, then chances are that the team is playing well. Although eight games are a lot to make up at this point of the season, it is far from insurmountable. The next few weeks will be the key for the immediate future of this team.
One way or another, Minnesota will be heavily involved in this season’s pennant race. Whether they’re trading some big-time players, or getting back into contention themselves, things will be interesting in the Twin Cities. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of the Minnesota Twins season.