Hector Santiago was supposed to be a big part of the Angels’ rotation when they acquired him from the White Sox in a three-team trade this offseason, but instead he pitched his way into a move to the bullpen two weeks ago and now they’ve demoted him to Triple-A.
Santiago has an ugly 0-6 record, but his 4.82 ERA and .257 opponents’ batting average aren’t that horrible. However, he’s struggled to consistently throw strikes and manager Mike Scioscia wasn’t comfortable enough using him in the bullpen to give Santiago regular relief work, so the Angels believe he’s better off starting every fifth day in the minors.
Santiago had a 3.51 ERA in 23 starts for the White Sox last season, which is why the Angels were willing to part with Mark Trumbo in the deal for him. Of course, it’s worth noting that Trumbo has hit just .210 (albeit with his usual big power) for the Diamondbacks and hasn’t played since April 21 because of a foot injury.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.