Tony Santillan is being called up to make his Major League League debut on Sunday. Manager David Bell made the announcement on Friday afternoon in his pre-game afternoon zoom session with the local media. Santillan will be taking over the spot in the rotation vacated by Sonny Gray who was placed on the injured list earlier this week after suffering a groin injury during his last start.
It’s been a strong start to the 2021 season for Tony Santillan in Triple-A Louisville this season. The 24-year-old right-handed starter has pitched in six games in the Triple-A East and has posted a 2.51 ERA. In his 32.1 innings he’s allowed just 23 hits – 5 home runs – to go along with 12 walks and he’s struck out 45 batters.
There’s going to be a gap of nine days between starts for Tony Santillan. He last pitched on June 4th for Louisville. He was scheduled to start on Friday night for the Bats, but obviously with being called up that gets him pushed back from there. During his last start he struck out a career high 13 batters in 7.0 innings while allowing two runs on three hits and four walks against the St. Paul Saints.
That game saw him throw a season high 111 pitches and 66 of them went for strikes. The fastball was working at it’s best velocity of the season so far as he was sitting 95-97 MPH and hit 98 MPH with his 110th pitch of the game – the hardest one he had thrown on the night. But it wasn’t just the fastball that was working on the night, or on the year – the slider was keeping guys off-balance in a big way.
Whenever a guy is called up to make their Major League debut you don’t really know how things will go. Sometimes it goes just as expected, but other times it takes a guy a little bit of time to get “settled in” so to speak. But if we are going down the “expected” route, look for Tony Santillan to be in the mid-90’s with his fastball while mixing in a good slider and a solid change up (that can be better than that at times). This season his control has been good – he’s only walked more than two hitters in one game and has a walk rate of 9.2% this year.
We’re still dealing with a small sample size of just six starts in Triple-A this season, but he’s been dominant against right-handed hitters. They’ve posted a .147/.205/.221 line against him this year. Left-handed hitters, though, have had plenty of success as they’ve hit .255/.345/.608 against him. Lefties haven’t made much contact, striking out in 20 of their 58 plate appearances against him – but when they’ve made contact they’ve punished the baseball. Keep an eye on that for Sunday.