Angels’ Ervin Santana feels good despite bad results
Reporting from Tempe, Ariz.
Ervin Santana will begin focusing on results in his next spring start. As for Thursday’s 3 2/3-inning, five-run, seven-hit effort in a triple-A game against the San Francisco Giants, the Angels right-hander preferred to focus on the positives.
“I felt great — everything feels very good physically and mentally,” said Santana, who threw five scoreless innings in his first two spring starts against big leaguers. “The results weren’t good, but I had very good location.”
While most of the Angels enjoyed their only off day of the spring, Santana threw 63 pitches, 42 for strikes, in Tempe Diablo Stadium, giving up a pair of run-scoring doubles in the third inning and a three-run home run to Joe Borchard in the fourth.
Santana is looking to rebound from a 2009 season in which he went 8-8 with a 5.03 earned-run average and never seemed to recover from an elbow sprain that was diagnosed last spring and sapped him of his normal velocity.
But the 27-year-old said his stuff and health are not merely as good this spring as they were in 2008, when he went 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA and made the All-Star game.
“I think they’re way better,” Santana said. “I can feel the difference throwing the ball. I can throw my changeup for strikes, my slider for strikes, and I know the hitters better. I’m more mature.”
Santana will have three more starts before the regular season, and while it’s important to build stamina, he will focus more on results beginning Tuesday against Seattle.
“My next start will be five innings, and I’ve got to start getting ready for the season,” Santana said. “I will be locating everything and pitching how I want to pitch during the season.”
Reliever Kevin Jepsen, in his second appearance this spring, looked dominant, displaying a firm fastball and crisp curve, while striking out the side in the sixth inning Thursday. Fernando Rodney, also in his second outing, retired the side in order in the fifth but needed so few pitches that Manager Mike Scioscia had him throw to one more batter, who singled. … Shortstop Erick Aybar, whose forearm stiffness has relegated him to designated hitter this week, had two hits and a stolen base in five at-bats.