Domingo, Where Are You? I’m Joining the Houston Astros!


During the early part of last night’s game, the CTH writers and ex-editor Jason Burke were abuzz about something they heard from Houston Chronicle reporter Evan Drellich. After I had scrolled up the conversation, I saw that the Houston Astros were calling up Domingo Santana. My first thought was excitement because Jeff Luhnow has all the faith in the world with that kid. Secondly, I’m glad to see him get another chance, but like most Astros bloggers probably did, who is going down?

The names that kept popping up were Colby Rasmus (Trade maybe), Roberto Hernandez (Go back to 12 pitchers), and Jake Marisnick (Doubtful). Someone on Twitter mentioned that Altuve might be going to the DL, but prior to the game it was reported that they were giving Altuve one more day to rest. He could have been available to pinch hit, but should start today. Finally, another Tweet from Drellich settled the discussion for good.

It was Colby Rasmus, but he was going on the bereavement list. The question is, now that Domingo is on the team, how does he get playing time? Rasmus has asked to keep the details private, but it has to do with a death of a grandmother. A player on the bereavement list can remain on there for three days, so Santana has that long to prove his worth.

Domingo made his unremarkable debut last year, but he has had a great 2015 with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. On the night he learned of his promotion, he was als awarded the PCL Player of the Week award with .545 Avg/ .643 OBP/ and 1.506 OPS. This past week he has nine runs-batted-in on 12 hits and is on a 34-game on base streak.

In his cup of tea with the Astros last year, Domingo Santana went o for 17 with 14 strikeouts. Doing the math, that’s a 77.8% strikeout rate. Many experts have soured a little on Santana as a prospect after his debut, but this season he has put his name back on the 25-man roster, however, short the time it is. This season, he has a slash line of .320/ .444/ .584/ 1.028 while hitting 11 home runs and 38 runs-batted-in. He has struck out 69 times in 241 plate appearances, which represents a 28.6% strike out rate. (Stats from Baseball-Reference)

These numbers even surpass what he was doing last year in terms of slash line. In 2014, Santana has a slash line of .296/ .384/ .474/ .858 and a 29% strikeout rate. Whatever was going on last year, he has at least fixed at the minor league level. Now it’s up to him to make an impact at the big league level in a short amount of time.

Let’s look at how to get Domingo Santana some bats in his three-game stint.

  • Game 2: Sit Preston Tucker against the lefthander Chris Rusin, who is limiting lefthanded hitters to .231, Santana plays leftfield.
  • Game 3: Give George Springer a start in centerfield, and sit Jake Marisnick while Santana stays in leftfield.
  • Game 4: Sit Santana on the bench if he struggled in the first two games. If he was successful, sit Evan Gattis and give Santana some at-bats in the designated hitter position.

My thought is if Santana is literally up for only three games, give him a chance to experience success in the big leagues. If he is successful, then he will come up next time with bundles of confidence. The Astros trade deadline is quickly approaching, and Santana could be the key piece to any trade the Astros do. He appears to be the odd-man out with the depth in the outfield. So why Santana and not Alex Presley, L.J. Hoes, and Robbie Grossman? These guys have limited options to be called up, and Presley is not on the 40-man roster.

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Here are my three theories about why bring up Santana now.

1) The Astros want to see what they have in Domingo Santana before they possibly trade him.

2) They are using these three games as an audition for potential trade partner at the trade deadline.

3) They are bringing him up while he is hot at the plate so that maybe he could have some success that he can build on later.

It’s not like they have to wait for a certain deadline because they started his arbitration clock last year with his two stints with the Astros. Could he stay past the three days when Colby Rasmus comes back to the team? Yes, but they would have to give up a pitcher on the 25-man roster. I hope that Santana comes up and pressures the Astros’ hand in deciding how to keep him on the team. I am rooting for Domingo Santana because I want the Phillies to say that he was the one that got away.

This could simply the Astros just rewarding Domingo Santana with this oportunity to play

Next: George Springer Powers Astros past Rockies in Opener

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