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Article: DET 5, MIN 3: Is There Anything Left?

ervin santana
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:17 PM

It’s easy to forget just how good Ervin Santana was for the 2017 Minnesota Twins. He was an All-Star, finished fifth in the American League in both ERA and WHIP. He was seventh in Cy Young Award voting. Ervin made his fourth start of this season, and saw his ERA jump to 6.53.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Ervin Santana: 44 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, 58.5% strikes (55 of 94 pitches)
Multi-Hit Games: Ehire Adrianza (3-for-4, 2B) Jorge Polanco (2-for-4, 2B), Logan Forsythe (2-for-4), Jake Cave (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Forsythe .153
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Kepler -.101, Morrison -.129, Mauer -.165 Santana -.223
Download attachment: WinChart810.png
Santana topped out a 90.6 mph and averaged 88.8 mph with his fastball tonight. To his credit, he was able to stay one step ahead of most batters. Ervin only allowed three hits over his six innings of work, but two of them came in the form of two-run homers.

It’s actually been impressive to see Ervin execute with diminished stuff, in sort of a depressing way. He should be getting clobbered. Like bounced outta the game in the second inning clobbered.

The lineup certainly could have executed better. The Twins outhit the Tigers 10-3, but were only 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Detroit even committed two errors, but the Twins couldn’t capitalize.

It’s pretty fun to see what Niko Goodrum is doing with Detroit. He hit his 11th home run of the season tonight and has a .720 OPS.

After the game, Santana did what you'd expect a professional veteran ballplayer to do. He took responsibility for his shortcomings and ... oh wait, no, he didn't. Jump head to about the 1:20 mark on this postgame interview:

My take: It's not like Ervin is going on a rampage here, but that's not his style. Still, I say just let him go. Honestly. I'm already wondering if this finger injury has derailed his career, he's certainly not getting his $14 million option picked up and now he's taking shots at the front office.

Even worse, by saying "it’s difficult to play without our good pieces" Santana is being disrespectful to his new teammates who've joined the club in the wake of those players leaving. Just end it now, there are plenty of other starting pitchers dying to get an opportunity.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Download attachment: Bullpen810.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 64-50
MIN 53-62 (-11.5)
DET 48-68 (-17)
CHW 41-73 (-23)
KC 35-79 (-29)

Next Three Game
Sat at DET, 5:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Francisco Liriano
Sun at DET, 12:10 pm CT: Kohl Stewart vs. Matt Boyd
Mon: Off
Tue vs. PIT, 7:10 pm CT: TBD vs. Jameson Taillon

Last Three Games
LE 5, MIN 4: Walks and a Walk-Off
CLE 5, MIN 2: Cleveland Prevails on Lindor Walk-Off Homer
MIN 3, CLE 2: Mitch Garver Makes it Rain

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#2 Thrylos

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:27 PM

 

 

It’s easy to forget just how good Ervin Santana was for the 2017 Minnesota Twins. He was an All-Star, finished fifth in the American League in both ERA and WHIP. He was seventh in Cy Young Award voting.

 

Indeed.And my take last off-season was that the Twins FO will suck if they do not sell high on Santana and Dozier.

(and they did not)

 

Albeit, Santana sucked in the post season in 2017, and he had a (pretty much) under the table surgery that would (allegedly) delay him till late April.

 

ahem

 

Whether the middle finger or not, Santana has lost about 5-6 mph in all of his pitches, and he really needs the Phil Hughes treatment.The Twins will be better server with Romero/Gonsalves/Littell/your-favorite-minor-leaguer (or Pindeda ;) )taking his starts for the rest of the season.

 

He sucks.

Edited by Thrylos, 10 August 2018 - 08:29 PM.

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#3 USAFChief

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:37 PM

I agree, Ervin. They took away a lot of your good pieces. It's a shame. It might have been necessary, or even smart, but it's still not what I want to see my front office do...Give up. Shameful.

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Cutting my carbs...with a pizza slicer.


#4 Mike Sixel

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:40 PM

They went in hard in the off season. It didn't work. The players were mostly bad, or hurt. I don't know what Santana wanted, logically. Emotionally? Sure. But the front office can't act on emotions.

And no, there is no evidence they should bring him back. I don't know if odorrizi is the right veteran or not.....

Edited by Mike Sixel, 10 August 2018 - 08:41 PM.

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#5 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:44 PM

Indeed. And my take last off-season was that the Twins FO will suck if they do not sell high on Santana and Dozier.
(and they did not)

Albeit, Santana sucked in the post season in 2017, and he had a (pretty much) under the table surgery that would (allegedly) delay him till late April.

ahem

Whether the middle finger or not, Santana has lost about 5-6 mph in all of his pitches, and he really needs the Phil Hughes treatment. The Twins will be better server with Romero/Gonsalves/Littell/your-favorite-minor-leaguer (or Pindeda ;) ) taking his starts for the rest of the season.

He sucks.

Santana isn’t healthy, and since we are not in any races we might as well do Santana a favor and shut him down and bring up Gonsalves or Romero (and give Thorpe a taste of AAA) a spot in the rotation. If we aren’t in contention there’s no reason to keep an injured 36 year old starting pitcher who has nothing in our rotation for the rest of the season.
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#6 tbhysgb

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:55 PM

No reason to keep trotting out Santana after this, yes he's owed alot of money still. But he's not going to regain that velocity. Need to give his starts to a young guy.

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#7 DocBauer

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:58 PM

Pitching is about ability and pure stuff, at the end of the day. It's also about experience and knowledge. How many dynamic arms, over the years, have we all just seen flame out due to the inability to throw secondary stuff, or learn "how to pitch"? And how many guys have we seen that weren't flamethrowers but had that secondary stuff to succeed? And how many guys have we seen who used knowledge and command to offset a loss of velocity over time?

Your answer would undoubtedly depend on age and how long you've been a baseball fan. The ultimate example, IMO, would be Greg Maddux, who began his career with dominate stuff, and finished with dominate stuff based on said control and pitchability.

So where does Santana fit in this conversation? He's had a long and great career. He's been mostly steady his whole career. If you look at his numbers, his brief Twins career he has performed about as well as he ever has. I would never diminish a pitcher, or any athlete, undergoing surgery. Something is wrong/hurt, and you are attempting to correct it. But physically, Santana has always been in shape. Mentally, he's always been strong. I've heard rumors and whispers for some time now that age will catch up, and that he has a tendon just waiting to give out.

A pitcher doesn't just need a healthy shoulder and elbow...along with hips, knees, etc...but something as simple as a wrist and fingers to control the ball and snap off his stuff. Considering his career, and his season last year...not to dimish surgery...but is it possible the velocity and such are still there waiting for a normal prep time?

The Twins have financial flexibility, and prospects to trade, and talent in their nucleus to work with, that they could afford to bring Ervin back. Not at his $15M to be certain, but maybe on a cheaper 1 year deal with incentives. Unless there is something else going on physically, would it be such a bad move? Would you bet against him?
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#8 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:00 PM

 

Even worse, by saying "it’s difficult to play without our good pieces" Santana is being disrespectful to his new teammates who've joined the club in the wake of those players leaving. 

Disagree completely. 

 

Santana was asked a question and answered it candidly and professionally. I appreciate that. Isn't that what we say we want, instead of the canned answers all the time? 

 

As for the other players joining the team, they know what's up. Field, Drake, whoever, they know what's going on. I doubt they would be insulted by what Santana said. They are getting a chance to play. It is what it is.

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#9 Thrylos

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:01 PM

 

Santana isn’t healthy, and since we are not in any races we might as well do Santana a favor and shut him down and bring up Gonsalves or Romero (and give Thorpe a taste of AAA) a spot in the rotation. If we aren’t in contention there’s no reason to keep an injured 36 year old starting pitcher who has nothing in our rotation for the rest of the season.

 

Exactly my thought....

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#10 Thrylos

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:07 PM

 

 

 

The ultimate example, IMO, would be Greg Maddux, who began his career with dominate stuff, and finished with dominate stuff based on said control and pitchability.

So where does Santana fit in this conversation? He's had a long and great career. He's been mostly steady his whole career.

 

 

A. Ervin Santana has not a "great" career.He was never ever close to a Cy Young award,He has been an average number 3 pitcher in a good team. (Great for him, he made $)

 

B. Comparing him to Maddux, especially after he has been lit by AAAA players this season, kinda, really, surely, absolutely, does not work.

 

C. And he is yet another year removed from PEDs

 

 

Edited by Thrylos, 10 August 2018 - 09:08 PM.

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#11 Tom Froemming

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:07 PM

 

Disagree completely. 

 

Santana was asked a question and answered it candidly and professionally. I appreciate that. Isn't that what we say we want, instead of the canned answers all the time? 

 

As for the other players joining the team, they know what's up. Field, Drake, whoever, they know what's going on. I doubt they would be insulted by what Santana said. They are getting a chance to play. It is what it is.

Was he paying attention to the game?

 

Logan Forsythe, Brian Dozier's replacement, had two hits. Ehire Adrianza, playing Eduardo Escobar's old position tonight, had three hits. But it's too bad the deflated bullpen blew it. Oh wait, no, Oliver Drake threw two no-hit innings.

 

Hell of a thing for him to say on a night where the replacement guys were great.

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#12 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:12 PM

Pitching is about ability and pure stuff, at the end of the day. It's also about experience and knowledge. How many dynamic arms, over the years, have we all just seen flame out due to the inability to throw secondary stuff, or learn "how to pitch"? And how many guys have we seen that weren't flamethrowers but had that secondary stuff to succeed? And how many guys have we seen who used knowledge and command to offset a loss of velocity over time?

Your answer would undoubtedly depend on age and how long you've been a baseball fan. The ultimate example, IMO, would be Greg Maddux, who began his career with dominate stuff, and finished with dominate stuff based on said control and pitchability.

So where does Santana fit in this conversation? He's had a long and great career. He's been mostly steady his whole career. If you look at his numbers, his brief Twins career he has performed about as well as he ever has. I would never diminish a pitcher, or any athlete, undergoing surgery. Something is wrong/hurt, and you are attempting to correct it. But physically, Santana has always been in shape. Mentally, he's always been strong. I've heard rumors and whispers for some time now that age will catch up, and that he has a tendon just waiting to give out.

A pitcher doesn't just need a healthy shoulder and elbow...along with hips, knees, etc...but something as simple as a wrist and fingers to control the ball and snap off his stuff. Considering his career, and his season last year...not to dimish surgery...but is it possible the velocity and such are still there waiting for a normal prep time?

The Twins have financial flexibility, and prospects to trade, and talent in their nucleus to work with, that they could afford to bring Ervin back. Not at his $15M to be certain, but maybe on a cheaper 1 year deal with incentives. Unless there is something else going on physically, would it be such a bad move? Would you bet against him?

Still, with all the pitching we have in AAA and the fact we won’t be competing for the playoffs next year we have no use for for a 37 year old starting pitcher especially if it blocks Fernando Romero from pitching for the Twins next year.
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#13 KirbyDome89

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:17 PM

 

Was he paying attention to the game?

 

Logan Forsythe, Brian Dozier's replacement, had two hits. Ehire Adrianza, playing Eduardo Escobar's old position tonight, had three hits. But it's too bad the deflated bullpen blew it. Oh wait, no, Oliver Drake threw two no-hit innings.

 

Hell of a thing for him to say on a night where the replacement guys were great.

Are any of those guys better than the players they've replaced? I think that was Erv's point. 

 

I don't have an issue with the FO selling or player(s) voicing their displeasure with that direction. I'd guess his frustration has as much to do with last season's deadline as it does with this season's trades. 

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#14 adjacent

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:21 PM

my take is that Santana is the voice of the clubhouse in this case. I know that the Manual of the Good GM says that you should trade your good pieces when it doesn't look like you are going to make the play-offs, but you shouldn't expect the players to like it. And Santana said it, that's it

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#15 Thrylos

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:28 PM

 

my take is that Santana is the voice of the clubhouse in this case. I know that the Manual of the Good GM says that you should trade your good pieces when it doesn't look like you are going to make the play-offs, but you shouldn't expect the players to like it. And Santana said it, that's it

 

But Santana cannot keep his end of the bargain, can he? If he cannot walk his talk, he should shut up.

 

He sucks.And he has fulifilled about 1.5 years of his 3 year contact.

 

And he is keeping worthy kids in the minors from getting MLB $.I'd rather see Romero take over his starts, but that's me....

Edited by Thrylos, 10 August 2018 - 09:31 PM.

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#16 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:31 PM

 

Was he paying attention to the game?

 

I wasn't. Was anyone? :)

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#17 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:35 PM

Despite his diminished velocity, I could easily see the Mariners claiming Erv, given the state of the wild card race and their current rotation.

Realistically, I think a prospect like Cesar Izturis Jr. would be a solid return.

#18 DocBauer

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:42 PM

A. Ervin Santana has not a "great" career.He was never ever close to a Cy Young award,He has been an average number 3 pitcher in a good team. (Great for him, he made $)
 
B. Comparing him to Maddux, especially after he has been lit by AAAA players this season, kinda, really, surely, absolutely, does not work.
 
C. And he is yet another year removed from PEDs


I never compared him to Maddox. I was speaking in general terms about pitchers in general who started with great stuff and learned to adapt over time, vs, pitchers who flamed out.

Another 2 years removed from PED'S? That argument I would debate. Let's say it's true. Let's say allegations are fact. So if he's been clean for 2 years, that would mean all the good he's done the last 2 years were clean. I don't pretend to be an expert, but his surgery this year and so much time off would be a result of giving up PED'S 2 years ago? Again, not an expert, but my limited medical knowledge is that steroids and PED'S wash out of the system in days/weeks/months at longest. So his surgery on his finger, recovery time, etc, can be traced back to presumed PED usage over 2 years ago? Sorry, not going to buy it.

I am NOT saying he should be signed on a 1 year. I think what the FO know/believes over the next month or so is what matters. I'm saying jts something to look at and consider.

I am in the same camp as you: audition and play Mejia, Gonsalves and Romero. But I think it's worth at least discussing a return for a fully healthy Santana. Is there really anything to lose on a 1 year deal with incentives?

14 years as a ML SP with a winning record and solid numbers doesn't constitute as a great career, I will grant you that. I never said HOF career. Let's try to agree, at least, a very good career then. Some very good years, a few not so much. His first 2 seasons with the Twins, pretty damn good.

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#19 mikelink45

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:49 PM

What a game - this is Detroit we were playing, not Cleveland.But there is a lot to take away from this.If you noticed previous postings I have made - we blew it with Goodrum.Good for him for taking advantage of his opportunity.

 

Santana is done, in every way.He is a FA, we are going nowhere and neither is he.The FO has shown a real reluctance to bring up Gonsalves - why?Put him in Santana's place since they are not going to give him Mejia's start.

 

If we are willing to DFA Santana (I am) why do we not DFA Morrison?Why do we keep playing him?

 

Did my eyes deceive me?I thought I saw Forsythe batting fourth.  

 

Nice to see Drake reduce his ERA to 7.13,Too bad we do not have any relief pitchers in the minors.  

 

Mauer has no power - we know that so his 354 slugging does not shock, but Morrison was hired for his power and his slugging is 368 even though he has 15 HR. CUT CUT CUT. 

 

I believe there has been talk about Rosario being a good fielder.He now has 8 errors.The next worst LFshave 3!Maybe there are more raindrops hitting the turf than we want to admit. If you check the most errors by RF you will find Grossman tied for fourth in errors considering how few games he is in the field that is a real accomplishment. 

 

 


#20 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:55 PM

What a game - this is Detroit we were playing, not Cleveland. But there is a lot to take away from this. If you noticed previous postings I have made - we blew it with Goodrum. Good for him for taking advantage of his opportunity.

Santana is done, in every way. He is a FA, we are going nowhere and neither is he. The FO has shown a real reluctance to bring up Gonsalves - why? Put him in Santana's place since they are not going to give him Mejia's start.

If we are willing to DFA Santana (I am) why do we not DFA Morrison? Why do we keep playing him?

Did my eyes deceive me? I thought I saw Forsythe batting fourth.

Nice to see Drake reduce his ERA to 7.13, Too bad we do not have any relief pitchers in the minors.

Mauer has no power - we know that so his 354 slugging does not shock, but Morrison was hired for his power and his slugging is 368 even though he has 15 HR. CUT CUT CUT.

I believe there has been talk about Rosario being a good fielder. He now has 8 errors. The next worst LFs have 3! Maybe there are more raindrops hitting the turf than we want to admit. If you check the most errors by RF you will find Grossman tied for fourth in errors considering how few games he is in the field that is a real accomplishment.

If they are reluctant to bring up Gonsalves then at least bring up Lewis Thorpe for a couple or three starts if you want Gonsalves to work on control/command since it looks apparent Thorpe has a good handle on control/command (131 K’s, 30 BB in 108 innings with a B.B./9 rate of 2.5) and after those starts bring up Gonsalves. Problem solved.
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