Hector Santiago was a happy-go-lucky left-hander all spring, endearing himself to Angels fans by signing autographs, posing for pictures and interacting with them on Twitter, and generally loving life with his new team after being traded from the Chicago White Sox.
Six weeks into the season, Santiago is neither happy nor lucky. He's received just 15 runs of support in his seven starts, he's been victimized by several errors and fluke plays, and he fell to 0-6 with a 5.19 earned-run average after a shaky 2 1/3-inning effort in Wednesday night's 9-2 loss to the New York Yankees.
"It's definitely tough to look up and see 0-6," Santiago said. "You want to give your team as many wins as you can, but right now, it's like I'm not even giving us a chance."
Santiago's frustrations spilled over in an ugly incident Wednesday, when he admittedly showed up Manager Mike Scioscia while being pulled in the third inning with the Yankees leading, 6-1.
Pitchers usually wait for the manager to reach the mound before handing them the ball. Santiago left well before Scioscia arrived and didn't even break stride — or look at the manager — as he handed him the ball en route to the dugout.
"Obviously, I kind of disrespected Sosh right there and walked off," Santiago said. "That's just me being a competitor. You want to be out there. I saw that right arm go up to the bullpen, and it was like … I was just disappointed in myself.
"That's almost childish right there, walking off on him. I apologized to him probably four times. I know I messed up. It had nothing to do with him. I know he's doing his job."
Two errors, one on a routine fly ball that was dropped when outfielders Mike Trout and Collin Cowgill collided, contributed to New York's five-run first, but Santiago also walked two and gave up a two-run double to Mark Teixeira and an RBI single to Brian Roberts.
Santiago has a vast repertoire, including a 94-mph fastball and screwball, but he has a tendency to make critical mistakes that lead to big innings.
"There is definitely some validity to that," Scioscia said, when asked whether Santiago is letting his emotions get the best of him. "Hector is trying to slow some things down. He's really aggressive and competitive, but you have to understand what you're trying to do out there. Sometimes, you're not just going to run through that brick wall. You may have to use a little finesse.
"Hector needs to exhale a bit and try to put together pitches better. There's no questioning his talent and his arm. It's a live arm, and he can do some things with the baseball. He's just not able to do that right now. When he's out of that rhythm or things start to get a little hot, he has to find a way to make pitches to get out of it and not just try to throw the ball as hard as he can."
The Angels claimed left-hander Brooks Raley, 25, from the Minnesota Twins and assigned him to triple-A Salt Lake. To make room for Raley on the 40-man roster, the Angels designated triple-A left-hander Buddy Boshers for assignment.
Raley, converted from a starter to reliever this season, had a 3.68 ERA for Minnesota's triple-A club, and he has a 7.04 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 19 walks in 38 1/3 big league innings with the Chicago Cubs.
Boshers, who had a 4.70 ERA in 25 appearances for the Angels last season, has a 6.23 ERA through 13 innings this season at Salt Lake.