This would happen to the Twins, wouldn’t it? As soon as everyone thought the starting rotation was set, something dramatic happens. Ervin Santana, who had secured the number two spot in the rotation this year, has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for using performance-enhancing drugs during the off-season. This is a huge blow to the team. Santana said he has no idea on how the drugs got in his system.
This announcement forced the Twins to choose between veteran Mike Pelfrey and rookie Trevor May. The club chose the frustrated Pelfrey, who had earned a spot in the bullpen, so he becomes the fifth starter. Pelfrey was frustrated because he thought he earned a spot in the rotation over May and Tommy Milone. The 31-year-old, who missed most of the 2014 season due to injuries, started two games and pitched in six this spring going 0-2 with a 1.15 ERA and 7 strikeouts. Hopefully Pelfrey pitches like he did to win the fifth spot and proves himself to the Twins.
This suspension raises a question: When did the Twins first have an inkling that Santana had tested positive? Before they signed him to a $5 million contract in December? Since then? I’ll be curious to hear about the timetable. In the comments, we would like to hear your responses to this development.
As we move forward, it looks like the rotation is now set. Phil Hughes will lead-off, followed by Ricky Nolasco, Kyle Gibson, Milone, then Pelfrey. Since the Twins don’t need to pay Santana his $6.25 million during his suspension, the club could look for another starter to cover the time period before Santana can return on July 4.
Sometimes it feels to us fans that it’s one step forward, two steps back for the Twins!
Written by: Michael L. Sack