Twins have an anchor in Santana

Published 8:52 am Friday, March 10, 2017

With a rotation badly in need of improvement, the Minnesota Twins can at least count on Ervin Santana as their anchor.

Over the course of his 12-year major league career, the right-hander has been one of the most dependable starting pitchers in the game. He has made at least 30 starts in six of the last seven seasons, with the only exception in 2015 when he served an 80-game suspension for testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol.

There’s no great secret to his consistency that stretches back to his rookie year with the Los Angeles Angels in 2005.

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“Throw strikes, keep the ball down for the most part, and just work fast,” Santana said. “That’s the thing.”

Though Twins manager Paul Molitor hasn’t officially named the 34-year-old native of the Dominican Republic his opening day starter, that has become a foregone conclusion and a bit of a running joke in Molitor’s dealings with the media that Santana will take the mound when the Twins host the Kansas City Royals on April 3. Last season, Molitor waited until the final week of spring training to make the official announcement.