Spotlight on: Hector Santiago

Updated: August 31, 2015

When the Angels invade tonight, Hector Santiago will try to stop the bleeding for the Halos, as they’ll look to get back on track against the Athletics. However, before the first pitch tonight, I was able to talk with Hector about the game both inside the park and outside of it.

Santiago, a Newark, New Jersey native, is in the midst of his finest season to date. The 27 year All-Star left hander currently holds a 3.13 ERA in 149 innings pitched, and while his win loss record doesn’t quite due him justice, Santiago is certainly breaking out in his second season with the Angels. Through seventeen starts in the first half of play, Santiago posted a 6-4 record with a 2.33 ERA/1.09 WHIP and 98 strikeouts in 108 innings pitched. At a time when the Josh Hamilton situation and resigning of Jerry Dipoto were grabbing the majority of Angels headlines, Hector went about his business and business was good. This success should come to no surprise as Santiago is an extremely hard worker. “Im just committing to every single pitch.” Santiago said.

However, the Angels have been playing themselves out of the playoff races and with the days turning from August to September, time is now beginning to run out. The silver lining to this storyline, is that the Angels have experience. After finishing 2014 with the most wins in baseball, the Angels have the confidence of their guys in the clubhouse. “Last year was a big confidence booster,” Santiago replied. “For us, and my confidence” And why not? There’s no reason to believe this team isn’t capable of reeling off six or seven in a row. And even though Santiago’s numbers have risen slightly since the break, he is already setting career highs for wins, strikeouts, and a career low ERA.

A big reason the Angels are still in the playoff conversation is because of Santiago’s work on the mound. But, Santiago is also widely purported to be somewhat of an autograph connoisseur, owning thousands of players signatures, from legends of the past, to future hall of famers that are still playing. While this utmost appreciation for the job he has is certainly commendable, its his interactions with his fans that makes him admirable. Hector is a crucial component of Major League Baseballs RBI program which promotes efforts to Revive Baseball in Inner-Cities (RBI) As a past alumnus of this program, I asked Hector why it’s so important for him to participate in this program. “The kids are the next generation of this game,” he said “I want them to understand the importance of being a great role model.”

Tonight, the Angels will look to Hector to rebound after being swept by the Indians in their last three game set. With the Angels now sitting 3.5 games out of a Wild Card spot, and 6.5 out of the AL West, each win and loss increases in value as October looms.


To find out more about the RBI program including ways you can participate, visit this link RBI Program.

Until next time @wtjefff


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