Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Lefty Santiago has right stuff for starting

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hector Santiago's wide assortment of pitches suits him better to start.

As long as his catchers can remember all of them, that is.

Santiago, who jumps into the White Sox rotation this weekend to replace the injured Gavin Floyd, throws a fastball, cut fastball, slider, changeup and screwball. Five offerings if you're scoring at home.
"If you want to count a two-seamer [sinking fastball] it's six,'' Santiago said.

So many that, in a recent relief outing, catcher Hector Gimenez went through the entire series of signs twice while Santiago was waiting for him to call for a changeup, his go-to pitch for swings and misses or ground balls against right-handed hitters.
After the inning, Gimenez threw his hands up and told Santiago he has too many pitches.

"He said, 'What did you want to throw right there?' I wanted to throw a changeup. He said, 'You got so many pitches. I didn't think of the changeup.' ''

"It's kind of funny he actually forgot about it. But Flow [Tyler Flowers] gave me something the other day and I was like, 'I dont know what that is.' So it's both sides.''

Flashing sings to Santiago was easier when he was a two-pitch pitcher, but he expanded his repertoire with more offspeed stuff, including a screwball and cutter.

Santiago, 25, was prepped to start during spring training as a possible fill-in for John Danks, and he'll start Friday in Kansas City against Jeremy Guthrie (3-0, 3.06). He was 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA over four starts last season.

Rushed into emergency relief for Floyd Saturday, Santiago (0-1, 2.51) stretched out with 86 pitches and allowed four runs on 10 hits, the first time he was scored on this year.

He's eager to start again.

"For whatever reason, I've had better success throughout my career as a starter,'' he said.

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on May 1, 2013 6:50 PM.

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