A veteran righthander who has seen time with the Royals, Phillies and Indians, 30-year-old Jose Santiago was added to the Mets roster from Triple-A Norfolk Monday. Inside Pitch breaks down Splitsville v1.1 (version one/chapter one) on Santiago, who figures to see some time out of New York's bullpen.
OK as a starter, better in relief: Jose Santiago appeared in 26 games this season at Triple-A Norfolk, making 15 starts for the Tides.
While he's been decent as a starting pitcher, going 6-5 with a 4.88 ERA, he's been better in relief, fashioning a 1-0 record with a 3.08 ERA.
As a starter, Triple-A batters were hitting an even .300 against Santiago; in relief, where he figures to see some use with the Mets, Santiago was holding the International League to a more respectable .268 average. Only one of the ten home runs Santiago had allowed this season came in relief.
Not too impressive, lefty vs. righty: Herein lies some of the problem with Santiago, which is part of the reason he hasn't really been able to stick with a big league club.
Santiago has faced 219 left-handed batters and 211 right-handed batters this season, and both are hitting him well – lefties are hitting .288 and have punished Santiago to a 5.20 ERA, while righties are hitting .299 with a marginally better 3.67 ERA.
Get the first guy: Since Randolph and the Mets don't figure to use Santiago in crucial situations just yet, perhaps one thing going in Santiago's favor is that he's been tough on the first batter of each inning. He's faced 103 batters leading off an inning and they've hit just .243 against him, managing 25 hits and only five walks.
Best in the seventh: You can't really read too much into relief statistics, but for whatever reason, Santiago has been especially tough in the seventh inning of his 10 appearances there for Norfolk. Opponents hit just .118 (4-for-34) with one home runs and three strikeouts in the seventh frame against Santiago at Triple-A.
Work for the defense: Regardless of Santiago's results, the main factor into his promotion over Heath Bell is likely the fact that the sinkerballer has a good chance of inducing ground balls, which could be a factor in the Mets' three-game trip to Colorado's Coors Field.
Of the balls put into play this year against Santiago, 185 have been ground balls (94 against lefties) and 81 have been fly balls (44 against lefties). That means that when Santiago comes into the game, the infielders had better be on their toes.
Recently: Over his last five appearances, Santiago has started four times and gone 2-2.
He had a horrid start on June 30 at Toledo, allowing eight runs in three innings, but followed with a 6-2/3 inning victory at home against Syracuse on July 5, scattering seven hits and three runs.
Santiago won again on June 10 with seven shutout innings of six-hit ball at Richmond on July 10 and tossed 1-1/3 innings of relief on July 16 at Syracuse, allowing a run on four hits.
His last outing was July 19 at Ottawa, when Santiago allowed six runs (five earned) and 10 hits in 5-2/3 innings, a loss. He's 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA in his four appearances this month.