Monday, May 16, 2005

Santana Gets the Call, Will Start Tuesday

One of the Angels' top pitching prospects, Ervin Santana, will be promoted from Double A Arkansas to start for the big club on Tuesday for injured Kelvim Escobar. The 22 year-old has risen steadily through the Halo organization since being signed as a free-agent in 2000. Santana is 5-1 with a sparkling 2.31 ERA for the Travelers.

Santana is seen by many as a 'sure thing' starter for the Angels at some point, but with the big club short-handed in both the bullpen and starting rotations Manager Mike Scioscia elected to keep Kevin Gregg in the pen and promote Santana. Scioscia's other option was to bring back Triple A pitcher Chris Bootcheck who already has pitched five innings of relief for the Angels, giving up 2 hits and 0 runs. With Escobar out at least two starts it figures that Bootcheck could still get a call back to the majors if Santana stumbles in his debut.

Santana is listed as 6-2 and 160 pounds and is known for having a very good fastball and slider. Seeing him pitch tomorrow could be a peek into the near future as several Halo pitching prospects are getting tantalizingly close to major-league ready. In addition to Santana and Bootcheck the Angels have Steven Shell and Joe Saunders and any of the four could break into the starting rotation in the next couple of years.

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