Trying to do well by his client and grab some attention away from the Masahiro Tanaka bidding sweepstakes, Ervin Santana’s agent Jay Alou made an announcement on Twitter shortly before Christmas.
— Jay Alou (@JAloujr) December 23, 2013
According to the PITCH f/x tool provided by FanGraphs, the following is a breakdown of Santana’s pitches in 2013:
1,647 fastballs (51.6%)
1,223 sliders (38.3%)
178 change-ups (5.6%)
127 two-seam fastballs (4.0%)
That presumably leaves a curveball (though he has thrown a rare hook in his career), a splitter, a cutter or something off the wall like a knuckleball as the possibilities for pitches he might add. This could go either way for Santana; on the one hand his other pitches are effective enough that adding another could legitimately impact his value (especially against left-handed hitters, as Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs notes).
On the other hand, his career has already been plagued with inconsistency, and trying to incorporate a new pitch could be a bit of a problem in that regard. Unfortunately for him, adding this pitch (whatever it is) does not eliminate the fact that any team that signs Santana will have to surrender a draft pick. Between that and the big money deal that he covets but is unlikely to get, he will still probably have to wait for a while this winter to sign.
Tags: Ervin Santana