Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana has been suspended by Major League Baseball. The league banned Santana 80 games for violating its anti-performance-enhancing drug policy. MLB public relations staff sent out a tweet stating that Santana had tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol:
The Minnesota Twins also released statement about Santana’s suspension stating “We were disappointed to learn of the suspension of Ervin Santana for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in the Joint Drug Program, the Minnesota Twins will not comment further on this matter.”
In six of the last seven years had a least started 30 games and was very productive in those outings. Twins do have an ace in hole, though. They believe they have an impact arm in their farm system named Alex Mayer. The Twins prospect may be on the verge of joining the big leagues.
The Twins are not expected to compete for the playoffs, so losing Santana for half of a season isn’t the end of the world for Twins. When he does comeback he will be a good innings eater and will help the bullpen who will undoubtedly have to pick up the slack for Santana while suspended. Innings is what the Twins will need most as their starters for last year throw the second fewest innings in baseball, per ESPN.com. Santana isn’t a top tier pitcher and the Twins weren’t asking him to be, but he would have been a good bet for 190-200 innings and that would’ve been gods send for the Twins.
This news doesn’t really come at the best of time. Twins manager Paul Molitor will have to go back to the drawing board and figure out a starting rotation before the season starts in the next few days.
Price per head agents have the cellar dweller Minnesota Twins at 120/1 to win the World Series, it is easy to say they will not sniff the playoffs this year. On the positive side they play in a big ballpark and that will help aid any pitching woes that would come with the absence of Santana. To Santana I say get strong, get ready because the Twins will need you once you come back.