Pretty hard to say about a team that is twelve games under .500 but where would the Rangers have been this year without Danny Santana?
Honestly, maybe twenty games under.
He was one of the rare scrap heap pickups that was a gem instead of a germ.
When his signing was announced, it was met with a universal shrug. “Oh, okay, wake us up when you have some important news to tell us.”
Santana had just about played himself out of baseball. Luckily, the Rangers are a last resort for players who fit his profile: cheap and breathing.
In four seasons at Minnesota he played himself from a top-ten rookie of the year candidate to a Rougned Odor—a guy with a .200 average, a .231 on-base percentage, and a .591 OPS. Those are numbers that get you released. (Unless you have the albatross of a long-term contract around your neck.)
Atlanta picked him up and he couldn’t find it there either—.203/.245/.602 his first partial season, .179/.281/.567.
Atlanta release him.
Jon Daniels picked him up, dusted him off, and gave him a minor league deal. He tore the ball off the cover in spring training and, for that, started the season in the minor leagues. But he was called up mid-April, and has been pretty much tearing the cover off the ball since.
Santana, along with Pence and Gallo, carried this team the first half, when it rose to as high as ten games over .500. He cooled a bit in the second half but has gotten hot again. His grand slam Thursday against Red Sox turned around the game. And his two-run homer Friday gave the Rangers a brief lead until they eventually had to pitch. He now has 80 RBIs, which is twice his career high, 28 home runs which is four times his career high, and a career highs .860 OPS.
Santana is having a great year.
The Rangers have Santana under control for two more seasons. He can play so many positions and they have so many holes to fill. At least we can know that Santana will fill one of those.
Luis Severino (1-0, 0.00) vs. Luke Farrell (1-0, 2.38)
Game time: 7:05.