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Monday, June 01, 2009

Catch And Release: Send Ervin Back

At Fangraphs, Dave Cameron writes on what we learned about Ervin Santana:
Ervin Santana should still be rehabbing. The Angels got two starts out of Santana last week, and they weren’t pretty - 6 1/3 innings, 19 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 3 home runs - a 21.62 ERA supported by a 10.64 FIP. His average fastball is 90.7 MPH since returning from the DL, a far cry from last year’s 94.4 MPH average. Just take a look at his Pitch F/x velocity chart:

Even if his elbow doesn’t hurt anymore, perhaps sending him back to the minors to build some arm strength might be a decent idea?

The Angels seemingly rushed Santana back, though without looking it is possible they had no choice in the matter; there are contractual limits to rehab stints to protect players from getting stiffed by owners who want to stockpile talent in the minors. But between Lackey and Santana, it does seem like the Angels have taken two big steps backwards in the rotation while getting nothing in exchange in the bullpen.

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Pitchers can be on rehab stints for as long as 30 days. Since Ervin signed a new deal this spring, I don't know how that affects his status re: whether he could simply be optioned to the minors. He might be past that point anyway.

I'm not a doctor, so I have no idea if any additional rehab would allow him to regain his velocity, or if this is the best he can do without TJ surgery. If it's the latter, well, time to call Dr. Andrews. The sooner he's cut, the sooner he'll be back.

Unfortunately, recent history shows that the Angels have been too reluctant to send people under the knife. Yeah, surgery should be the last option, not the first, but they lost the last two years of Bartolo Colon because they wouldn't send him to get his shoulder fixed. Instead, thye chose to spend two years with him going through DL stints, rehab and ineffectiveness, rather than lose him for one year with surgery, but get him back fixed for the last year of his deal.
It's also important to remember that the players themselves probably don't want to go under the knife, either.
Any new rumblings about sending Howie down and bringing up S-Rod or Wood? Seems everyone is euphoric after the comeback yesterday. I want Howie to go down and build up his confidence.

I guess he has a newborn kid? Maybe he's sleep deprived?
HK went 0-for-3 yesterday and played no part in the big game-winning rally. If ever there were a reason to send him down (apart from those soul-destroying Howard's commercials), that's another piece of evidence for the prosecution.
Yeah, he went 0 for the week. Man, his head is just not right.
Howie needs to breathe through his eyelids. Right now, a garter belt wouldn't hurt either...

Seriously, Howie is still young - younger than Matt Brown, Terry Evans, Freddy Sandoval, and Reggie Willits - and we don't seem to be having any problem sending them down to AAA. A brief change of scenery would probably do him well. I'm not convinced that Sean Rodriguez is The Answer, either, but currently he couldn't do much worse, could he? I understand "standing pat" if you have no options, but...the power deprived Angels have a 2B LEADING HIS LEAGUE in HR's...and he has 167 AB's of big league experience. At this point, it's bordering on stubborness...

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