Could Twins ‘ace’ Ervin Santana be that much of an upgrade for the Astros?
With the MLB trade deadline on Monday, there will be a lot going on for Jeff Luhnow. The Houston Astros have a 67-34 record with a 17 game lead in the AL West. Fans are probably tired of hearing that the team has a big enough lead, especially after a 9-0 loss Wednesday. Even the best teams in baseball have bad games, no one is perfect.
The Astros have a close to a perfect team with a few minor holes. The return of Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh will help with the rotation, but they could still chase a top starter. While the top starters are Sonny Gray and Yu Darvish, there could be a few bargains out there.
What if I told you that there is a pitcher out there with eight playoff games under his belt? The same pitcher was considered at one point this season a Cy Young candidate. He was also pitching for a possible playoff team, until the team started struggling.
According to Twins beat writer Mike Berardino, the Astros were doing background work on Ervin Santana. He states the Astros are looking for a difference maker. Let’s see if he can be that big upgrade for the playoffs. Later he warned of a velocity drop.
The playoff thing is a stretch as Santana only started two of those eight games. In his playoffs experience, Santana has a 5.56 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings. He was effective in the 2009 playoffs with the Angels as a reliever. He tried to stop the White Sox in the 2005 ALCS, but was crushed.
Santana is not a sexy name, but he is the ace of the Royals this year. Through his first six starts, Santana’s ERA was 0.66. Since then, his ERA has risen to a still respectable 3.37. Since that great start, Santana has gone 6-7 with a 4.53 pitcher.
For the season, Santana has 104 strikeouts in 136 1/3 innings. While his season stats may compare well to Mike Fiers this time, is he really that much of an upgrade?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***