Ervin Santana had hopes that a change of scenery would help him forget his tough 2012 season with the Anaheim Angels. It was more of the same today against the Chicago White Sox as he surrendered three dingers and four earned runs in a loss.
The newest addition to the Kansas City Royals starting rotation has a history of giving up homers — a lot. Throughout the majority of his career, he’s been above the league-average home runs per nine innings. Last season with the Angels, it was almost double as he surrendered nearly two per nine innings.
Even in spite of the handful of errors committed by the White Sox, their offense was able to counter with several big hits. Early in the game, Chicago hitters figured out pretty quickly that Santana was coming at them with a first-pitch fastball. They cashed in with two solo shots and one two-run shot. Santana was able to make adjustments and — despite the rough outing — still managed to strike out eight with just one walk.
The Royals didn’t exactly give Santana much run support. They scattered four hits and scored two runs, but ultimately they were outdone by Jake Peavy.
Santana is going to have to mind his pitch location and selection and work with Salvador Perez to prevent too many repeats of today. The Royals offense may again find themselves in offensive situations similar to today and will need their pitching staff to keep the games close. Expecting them to score five runs every fifth day might be a tall order.
The long and short of it is Santana really didn’t pitch badly. He just made a couple of bad pitches that hurt him, and the team, in the worst way possible. Yet we must remember that it’s one of roughly 30 starts the Royals will get out of Santana. There is plenty of time to settle down.