Even as Ranger Suarez has pushed his way into a fifth-starter discussion that already included Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta, the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly keeping their options open in terms of adding pitching depth.
According to Jon Heyman of RADIO.COM, the Phillies “recently” watched veteran right-hander Ervin Santana pitch. It’s unclear what the context was when the 37-year-old pitched in front of a representative for the Phillies.
The past two seasons have seen rather disastrous results for Santana in brief stints at the major league level. He posted an 8.03 ERA in five starts for the Minnesota Twins in 2018, and a 9.45 ERA in three starts for the Chicago White Sox in 2019.
While it’s possible that the two-time All-Star doesn’t have much left to offer, it couldn’t hurt the Phillies to keep him in mind. In 2017, he led baseball with five complete games and three complete game shutouts for the Minnesota Twins. He posted an impressive 3.33 ERA in 63 starts between 2016 and 2017.
Heyman says that Santana intends to compete in this summer’s Olympics for the Dominican Republic. Assuming the Corona Virus doesn’t force the games to be postponed or cancelled, how he pitches in said games could determine if there’s any serious interest from the Phillies or any other teams. Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez had a strong showing for the Dominican Republic in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, which led to the Phillies signing him that summer and him becoming a key piece in a run to the World Series.
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