Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dancing the pitching staff

Hector Santiago was insistent that his lack of velocity Sunday was deliberate. On Tuesday he threw his regular bullpen session and, asked by a reporter if that meant he was making his scheduled start Friday, replied: "Presumably." On Wednesday he went on the disabled list again.

We can connect the dots as we wish, but bottom line is: Santiago is not making that Friday start.

Alan Busenitz, sent out on Friday, was recalled to take Santiago's roster spot. He could be called back up so quickly (normally an optioned player has to be down 10 days) because he's taking the place of a player going on the disabled list. But he's a relief pitcher, so that doesn't fill the vacant rotation spot.

That will reportedly be Felix Jorge, who started the second game of Saturday's doubleheader and gave the Twins their best start of the Kansas City series. He isn't covered by the 10-day rule because he was the 26th man for the doubleheader.

But somebody will have to come off the roster after today's game to make room for Jorge. Busenitz seems a possibility; so too Ryan Pressly, who was recalled to take Busenitz's spot after Busenitz had a long bullpen outing on Friday. Pressly has made one (unsuccessful) appearance in this callup.

The most likely outcome is that the Twins will have milked two days of an extra bullpen arm out of all this. And on day one of that extra arm. Ervin Santana threw a complete game, which sorta makes all the maneuvering irrelevant.

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