On the surface level, Minnesota Twins starter Ervin Santana has been having a stellar season. In 12 starts, the veteran right-hander has a 2.44 ERA with a career best 0.93 WHIP. However, there are many things that would not be a good fit if he were to become a member of the Astros.
First of all, his FIP is 4.67, the highest in his career. What does that mean exactly? FIP, according to FanGraphs is a statistic that uses, “outcomes we know that do not involve luck on balls in play or defense; strikeouts, walks, hit batters, and home runs allowed.”
In some ways, it does make some sense why his FIP is so high. First, his strikeout numbers are not very high. Using primarily a low-nineties fastball and a mid-eighties slider, Santana averages only 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings of work, his lowest since 2006. Also, Santana is walking more batters this season than in years past with a career high 3.6 walks per nine innings.
However, the number that should worry Astros fans is his fly ball percentage. This season, 43.1 percent of all contact is in the form of a fly ball with 11.8 percent of those fly balls becoming home runs. Santana has given up 11 home runs in his 81 innings of work this season. That is 1.2 home runs per nine innings, his highest since 2012. Coming to Minute Maid Park with stats like that could be trouble for a veteran right-hander such as Santana.
The Twins are going to try and sell Santana to the highest bidder with his value at an all-time high. The Astros better be careful if they do ask about Santana as a possible move.
***Stats provided by FanGraphs, Baseball Reference and MLB.com***