Posted on / by avilramon / in Uncategorized



Part‌ ‌2

by:‌ ‌Scott‌ ‌A.‌ ‌Horstmeier‌ ‌ ‌

They say that good things come in threes.  The Cincinnati Reds had three pitchers make their MLB debuts this season.  All three pitchers pitched well and showed their potential to the Reds and their fans.  In this article we will explore the season of Tony Santillan.  

Santillan began the season in the minors and moved to the Reds as a starter.  After a brief demotion back to the minors he returned to the Reds as a reliever.  During his time as a reliever he excelled and excited the Reds who had a depleted bullpen virtually all season.  

Santillan, from Fort Worth, Texas, was a right-handed pitcher that the Reds drafted in the 2015 amateur draft in the second round out of high school.  That same year he made his debut in the Arizona League and then steadily progressed his way up the Reds organization.  His last full year in the minors, 2019, gave no indication that Santillan was ready for pitching in the majors.  Pitching with the Chattanoga Lookouts in 21 starts he finished the season with a record of 2-8, a 4.84 ERA, and 92 strikeouts in 102.3 innings pitched.  He did not pitch in 2020 due to Covid shutting down the minor league season.  

2021 saw Santillan begin pitching with the AAA Louisville Bats.   He was pitching well and when the Reds needed a starter in June he got called up to make his debut on June 13 in Colorado.  The thin air did not bother Santillan as he pitched 4.2 innings, gave up 1 run, and recorded 5 strikeouts, with his first against Trevor Story.  

He made four starts for the Reds and not all starts went as well as that one in Colorado.  In 4 starts he had a 3.78 ERA in 16.2 innings, with 18 hits given up and 10 walks and 7 earned runs.  He consistently got himself pitching in jams.  By July he was demoted back to the Bats for the sole purpose of becoming a reliever.  

By August, Santillan was called back up to the Reds, but this time to pitch out of the bullpen.  Santillan pitched well enough to finish the season with the Reds  as a reliever.  

As a reliever he pitched 26.6 innings with an ERA of 2.37 while also giving up 7 earned runs.  He did improve on giving up hits by only giving up 16 hits in more innings pitched.  However, as a reliever his walk rate got worse by giving up 11 walks.  

For the season he had very respectable stats: 2.91 ERA, 43.3 innings pitched with 56 strikeouts.  He also had an ERA+ of 165, which translates to an ERA that is 65% better than the league average.  He will need to reduce his walks, as he gave up 4.4 per 9 innings, and reduce his homers given up, as he gave up a homer and a half every 9 innings.  

It appears the Reds have a solid reliever in the making with Santillan.  He has earned the chance to compete for a spot in the bullpen at the start of next season.  Santillan adjusted his pitching to end the season as a strong reliever and proves the point of his heading on his Twitter account: “Stay humble or the game will humble you.” 

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