Hector Santiago was manager Robin Ventura’s surprise choice as the White Sox’s closer coming out of spring training, but his time with ninth-inning duties was short-lived and now the 24-year-old rookie is headed back to the minors.
Chicago optioned Santiago to Triple-A to make room on the roster for Francisco Liriano, who was acquired from Minnesota on Saturday night and will make his White Sox debut tomorrow against the Twins.
Based on his performance Santiago certainly didn’t deserve the demotion, but having a minor-league option remaining surely played a part. He struggled as closer, but since moving into a setup role he’s thrown 33 innings with a 2.73 ERA and 33 strikeouts. His control has been iffy, but Santiago has certainly pitched well enough to stick in the majors.