It got late in the day yesterday and following the signing of Michael Gonzalez which led to the DFA of #66 Arcenio Leon, his article certainly became less imperative.
That said, we push forward through the cold days of January, inching ever closer to the glorious day whence baseball resumes.
Today, Saturday, January 26th, is 65 days away from Brewers Opening Day.
Another newcomer to the 40-man roster was assigned jersey number 65 for Spring Training…
Miguel De Los Santos.
De Los Santos (or MDLS as I’m likely to refer to him by the end of this article because Miguel De Los Santos takes a long time to type) is a 24-year-old left-handed pitcher who hails from the Dominican Republic. He stands 6’1″ and is listed at 170 pounds.
Originally signed as an international free agent by the Texas Rangers in 2006, De Los Santos showed promise in his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League. He was brought to the states in 2007 and pitched all of 2008 in the Rangers rookie-level Arizona affiliate. He struggled as a starting pitcher and needed to pitch in the Dominican League again in 2009 due to visa issues. But it was a blessing in disguise for De Los Santos as he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen and dominated.
2010 saw a return to the states. De Los Santos pitched in both Class-A and short-season Class-A. He started 13 of his 19 games. In 2011, De Los Santos spent time across three levels, reaching as high as Double-A. He started 19 of his 20 appearances as a 22-year-old.
Now for last season.
I made mention of all of that differential in his starting and relieving because while it seemed as though the Rangers had finally committed to De Los Santos as a starter, he made only four starts in 26 games in 2012. Those four games were his first three and his second-to-last. Combined in the starts, De Los Santos allowed 13 earned runs in 15 innings pitched. In his 21 relief appearances though? 21 total earned runs, five of which came in one outing.
De Los Santos made 18 relief appearances of at least four outs, 15 of which were at least six outs in length. He seems durable though it should be noted that he never pitched on consecutive days in 2012.
All told, De Los Santos tossed 58.2 IP, walking 34 and striking out 70 batters. He did allow eight home runs which certainly didn’t help his ERA which finished at 5.22 for the year.
After the mediocre season overall, the Rangers ended up designating De Los Santos for assignment on September 1st and the Brewers claimed him off waivers thereafter.
Prior to the 2012 season, Baseball America had ranked De Los Santos the 29th best prospect in the Rangers system along with identifying his as the system’s best changeup.
We all know that the Brewers have had a dearth of left-handed relief pitching, so the claim made perfect sense at the time. You might think that it matters less now because they signed both Tom Gorzelanny and Michael Gonzalez this off-season, but on the contrary, it gives the team even more time to allow De Los Santos to develop his game in the minors. For now, that game consists of that plus plus change, a fastball sitting right at 90MPH, and a curveball which is still under construction.
Will Miguel De Los Santos (I made it!!) make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training? No. Could he contribute down the road? Absolutely. It was a sensible acquisition and one that won’t pay off immediately (or yes possibly ever) at the big league level but the potential exists for good things.
And it’ll all start with De Los Santos wearing 65 on back.
***UPDATE: After this article was posted, it was announced the Miguel De Los Santos has a shoulder injury (which the Brewers were aware of) and that he won’t be pitching until the summer.***