What does Danny Santana bring to the Boston Red Sox?
Things are moving along for the Red Sox and as they’ve just capped a comeback series win against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, they’re looking to the future. Not only will they be heading to Philadelphia for a weekend series but it looks like there may be a new face in the clubhouse. Earlier this afternoon, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reported that Danny Santana will likely be called up for this weekend’s series against the Phillies.
Some pieces need to be moved around on the chessboard before Santana can officially be added to the squad but it’s nothing that can’t be solved. The most likely move will be for Michael Chavis to be sent back to Worcester in order to open up the roster spot. Boston also needs to make room on the 40-man roster which is where things get a bit less clear.
I think the consensus among fans is that one of the pitchers on the staff, Austin Brice is who I’ve seen the most mentioned, gets DFA’d in order to open the slot. That’s the route I would like for Chaim Bloom to take as I just don’t believe that Brice offers anything to this team.
Once those moves are made we should get more of an idea of where the Red Sox see Santana fitting in. Personally, I’d rather Chavis gets to stay with the team while Franchy Cordero gets sent down. Through two months of the season, Cordero has had two quality games while he’s more often than not a liability in the lineup.
Bring in Santana to fill the void in left while Chavis can continue to work with the big league coaches on his deficiencies. With that said, it’s all speculation until an announcement is made from the club tomorrow.
As for Santana, what will his role be with this team? He primarily plays in the outfield while also being proficient at shortstop and first. As I’ve said, I think he’ll primarily get the lion’s share of playing time in left-field while occasionally giving guys like Xander Bogaerts and Bobby Dalbec days off. While Boston has a guy in Marwin Gonzalez who can play all over the field I think Santana will get the outfield with Gonzalez in the infield as far as playing time.
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That’s the defensive side of things. What about in the batter’s box? Santana is a career .260/.299/.418/.717 hitter but the best year of his career came in 2019 where he was an absolute beast. That 2019 campaign came after a few years of injury issues and was a glimpse into what he’s capable of when healthy.
He would mash a .283/.324/.534/.857 line with 28 homers and 81 RBI, absolutely fantastic stuff. That’s what the Red Sox are hoping to have in him and less of the guy that has missed 175 days since the beginning of the 2016 season.
So far during his stint in the minors for the Red Sox, he’s hitting .433/.471/.833/1.304 with 3 homers and 6 RBI. If he can manage to maintain even a fraction of that production he will be a massive weapon in Alex Cora’s arsenal. At this point, he’s an instant upgrade to Cordero on both sides of the ball and makes that outfield much more athletic and competent. I think he’ll also add some stress on the basepaths for the opposition as he is a big threat to steal whenever given the opportunity.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much about Santana beyond his stats. I know I’ve seen him as he’s been in the AL for most of his career but I can’t grab a memory off the top of my head. But I’ve seen what he’s done while with this organization despite a gnarly foot infection and I’ve become a fan. I’m hoping he can continue that level of production once he joins the Major League club and he’s more 2019 than 2020. If he’s close to as good as he’s been so far then Chaim Bloom will once again look like the smartest man in the room.