Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Luis Santos has impressed the skipper all the while making a strong case for himself to be a candidate for the Jays bullpen when the team breaks camp at the end of the month.
Luis Santos was arguably not the most obvious choice when foreshadowing what the complexion of the Jays bullpen would look like when the team headed north at the conclusion of Grapefruit League Action. There are a plethora of veteran hurlers in camp on minor league deals with more impressive major league resumes than the 27-year old reliever. However here we are nearly at the halfway mark of spring training and Santos is in the thick of things for a job in the Jays bullpen.
Manager John Gibbons spoke to the media yesterday acknowledging that Santos has a great arm and is a big league pitcher. Gibby even took it one step further proclaiming that Santos has earned the right to see what he can do.
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Santos made his major league debut with the Jays last season as a September call-up and was impressive in a small sample size of work with the big club. The native of the Dominican Republic made 10 relief appearances compiling a 2.70 earned run average while surrendering 5 earned runs and fanning 16 in 16.2 innings on the bump.
So far this spring Santos is flawless having yet to surrender a hit in 6 relief appearances over 6 innings. That stat line will never hurt your chances to impress the manager when vying for a roster spot.
In 2017, Santos made 21 starts and 3 relief appearances for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons before earning the fall promotion. He registered a 4.07 earned run average along with a 1.246 WHIP in 108.1 innings with the herd. Santos also logged 4 relief appearances with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats as well last season.
Santos minor league career spans 7 seasons and includes stops with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals before latching on with Toronto in 2015. He sports a career 3.64 earned run average in 134 minor league games, 98 of those which were starts.
The hurler has paid his dues and finally may be rewarded for his hard work in the coming weeks in Dunedin. There is no telling what Gibby will decide when it’s all said and done but for now it sounds like Santos has won over his skipper for at least an audition on the big stage in April.