Posts for Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana’s Resurgence, Phillies’ Offensive Struggles Were Both a Bad Look for John Mallee

Bob Wankel - August 13, 2019

Old friend Carlos Santana, out there in Cleveland last night, just making it happen:

Which begs the question: Where the hell was this at last season? 

And in light of John Mallee’s dismissal as the Phillies’ hitting coach and the subsequent hiring of Charlie Manuel to fill that position this morning, here’s another question, which fair or not, will be asked: Did Santana’s resurgence in Cleveland help get Mallee fired?

I mean, Santana hit .229 with a .766 OPS with the Phillies. He’s up to .286 with a .939 OPS and has already surpassed his 24 homers of a season ago with 43 games remaining.

It’s an interesting question and one that can be answered in a variety ways – and yet it’s probably without a single definitive conclusion.

Contextually, here are some ways that Santana’s resurgence can be explained:

  • He’s more comfortable now that he’s back in Cleveland where he spent the first eight seasons of his career.
  • He’s back in the AL, which is typically thought to be the more offensively advantageous league.

Or, the local fan favorite theory:

  • He’s out from the crippling grasp of the Phillies’ offensive teachings (or what was the crippling grasp of the Phillies’ offensive teachings).

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Carlos Santana is the Cleanup Hitter for the American League All-Star Team

Bob Wankel - July 8, 2019

You won’t see any current Phillies in the National League’s starting lineup for tomorrow night’s MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland, but there is a former Phillie in the American League lineup. Let’s see if you can spot his name. Go ahead:

Ah yes, there he is! Carlos Santana. Batting cleanup. In an All-Star Game. Protecting Mike Trout.

Perfect.

Santana, you’ll recall, was dealt by the Phillies to the Mariners this offseason along with J.P. Crawford in exchange for Jean Segura, the currently injured Juan Nicasio, and the since cut James Pazos. He landed with Cleveland after a subsequent three-team deal also involving the Rays.

In his lone season with the Phillies, Santana, whose most notable moment came last September when he reportedly smashed a television because he was pissed at his teammates for playing video games, hit .229 with a .766 OPS. So, of course, it makes perfect sense that he’s hitting .297 with a career-best .958 OPS this season. He’s also on pace to smash his hits, doubles, homers, and RBI totals of a season ago.

(Kyle, ever a troll, wanted me to do a side-by-side comparison of Santana and Bryce Harper, but I’ll pass.)

Obviously, the Phillies needed to move on from Santana in order to shift Rhys Hoskins back to first base after his/their failed left field experiment. Still, Santana’s resurgence seems about par for the course, as does the .814 OPS in 39 games produced by 24-year-old infielder J.P. Crawford.

Nobody Should Be Surprised by Carlos Santana’s Slow Start

Kevin Kinkead - May 2, 2018

It would be nice for the Sixers/Celtics series to resume tonight, but nooooooooooooo, we gotta wait for the Boston Bruins to play their BS home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So let’s check in on your Philadelphia Phillies, who have lost four in a row as they fall to 16-13 and third place in the National League East. Gabe Kapler’s club is coming back to Earth after going 13-3 through the middle portion of April.

One guy who might be also be reverting to the norm is Carlos Santana, which would actually be in the other direction, because a .158/.307/.287 slash line isn’t exactly what you’re looking for from the second-highest paid player on the team.

I think the .158 batting average speaks for itself, but put it in a visual format and you see he’s nestled right between power hitters Andrew Knapp and Jake Arrieta:

It’s glass half empty for his batting average, or basically three-quarters empty I’d say. That on-base percentage is okay by comparison, just for the fact that he’s at least drawing walks. Slugging and OPS numbers obviously sag by extension.

The narrative, as you well know, is that this is nothing new for Santana. He’s a slow starter, takes a while to get going, and will eventually begin to contribute. Question is, how long are you willing to wait? The Phils have played 17.9% of their season so far (29 games), so does a $60 million signing get the benefit of the doubt simply because he’s always been like this?

Gabe Kapler talked about Santana’s struggles on his weekly call with the 94 WIP morning show:

“We know that it’s sort of been a tough start if you look at it from one angle. But he’s always been a slow starter from a batting average perspective. We don’t know why that happens. But we know that you look up and he’s got bombs and doubles, 100 walks, RBI under his belt every single year. This is a good addition to the Philadelphia Phillies.”

Of course the bigger picture here is the trickle down effect of Santana playing first, Rhys Hoskins being bumped to the outfield, and Nick Williams having nowhere to play. That problem is solved if Santana sits down, but then you’re leaving a pricey veteran on the pine.

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