After winning the World Series in 2015, the Kansas City Royals have been in a downward spiral, so much in fact that they lost over 100 games in both 2018 and 2019. Last season, the Royals finished with a 26-34 record. With many holes to fill, the Royals are looking to 15-year veteran Ervin Santana to possibly boost a pitching staff that was sixth in the American League in ERA last season.
Ervin Santana didn’t pitch last season but has had a solid career. He pitched for the Royals back in 2013 and posted a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts before being traded. Santana’s resume includes two All-Star appearances, 149 wins and a 4.09 ERA in 387 games.
The problem is what Erwin Santana has done lately, and the 38-year-old has looked significantly closer to retirement than an effective pitcher close to his prime. Since his All-Star appearance in 2017, Santana has crumbled to a combined ERA of 8.53 in eight games with the Twins and White Sox. After his brief stints in Minnesota and Chicago, Santana latched on with the Mets Minor League system. There is some hope that Santana has something left in the tank after posting an ERA of 2.61 in 20 2/3 innings in the Dominican Winter League this year.
The Kansas City Royals rotation currently consists of Brad Keller, Brady Singer, Mike Minor, Danny Duffy, and Kris Bubic. Keller was 5-3 with a 2.95 ERA, tops in the rotation. Bubic, a 22-year-old, posted a record of only 1-6, but showed potential with an ERA of 4.32. Minor, who pitched for the A’s and Rangers last season, had an ERA over 5. There is room for Erwin Santana to make an impact either in the starting rotation or in long relief. The best guess is that Santana will need to show he has something left to give in the minor leagues at the start of the season. If he pitches well, expect him to log innings probably in relief or spot starter with the Royals.