How Ervin Santana would look in his 2014 season debut was held in at least a little bit of doubt because of his quirky off-season. He joined the Atlanta Braves late, he started his throwing program late, and his season debut did not come until the second week of games.
Santana made his first start as a member of the Braves on Wednesday night. With the caveat that it came against the New York Mets, it was a dazzling debut indeed: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 6 K. Of course it doesn’t hurt when the defenders behind you do things like this.
Maybe the Braves aren’t expecting Santana to be an ace, but he sure pitched like one Wednesday. We would be wise to wait until he faces some tougher lineups before making any declarations, but Santana just might fill a glaring need at the top of the rotation for a team that has playoff aspirations once again in 2014.