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 Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.