Ervin Santana got knocked around by the Rays last night, coughing up four homers in five innings while falling to 0-4 with a 7.23 ERA on the season.
Santana has now allowed at least two home runs in each of his first four starts and a total of 10 long balls in those four outings.
According to Baseball-Reference.com’s awesome Play Index he’s just the ninth pitcher in baseball history to allow multiple homers in four straight starts to begin a season and Santana has tied Ed Whitson in 1987 as the only pitchers to begin the year by allowing 10 homers through four starts.
Even more remarkable is that Santana allowed a total of just 26 homers in 229 innings last season, including no more than two homers in any start, and has never allowed even 30 homers in a season.
Oh, and here’s a depressing stat for Angels fans: Santana has allowed 10 homers in 23.2 innings and the Angels’ lineup has combined for 11 homers in 149 innings.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.