Purgatory Online

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ervin Santana makes his Angels debut tonight against the Indians, a result of Kelvim Escobar's worrisome visit to the DL. Santana has been considered the Angels' top pitching prospect for for years now, and so will rightly be watched closely over the next week (he's expected to get two starts). I think the small, fluttering hope of some fans is that Santana will pull a Frankie, demonstrating such talent and poise that the team will be forced to keep him in the rotation.

Ain't gonna happen.

Santana, by all accounts, is a fantastic pitcher. But even if he tosses a pair of gems, which of these guys gets the axe?

Colon: 52.2 IP, 2.91 ERA
Escobar: 25.1 IP, 3.91 ERA
Washburn: 49.0 IP, 4.04 ERA
Byrd: 52.0 IP, 4.15 ERA
Lackey: 47.0 IP, 4.40 ERA

Particularly considering the May numbers for Byrd and Lackey:

Byrd: 19.2 IP, 2.29 ERA
Lackey: 21.1 IP, 2.95 ERA

If Santana pitches well, it's possible the Angels would consider prepping him further by putting him in the bullpen, a la Johan Santana, but I doubt it. He's probably better served by pitching regularly at Arkansas rather than getting innings on the unpredictable schedule of a long reliever.