Funny how life always evens out, doesn’t it?
After all, this is the second clear example of such fate in the season’s opening week. We spilled plenty of ink about the Dodgers’ decision to hand the fifth starter role to Dustin May over more experienced arms like Tony Gonsolin (slightly) and David Price (very much so).
Just days later, Gonsolin has gone down with shoulder inflammation, and thanks to foresight, we escaped a louder argument about whether the Dodgers had erred in their decision-making.
The flip side of that unfortunate development is we don’t have a rotation spot to fill, but rather a nebulous middle-innings bullpen spot that was fairly undefined when it was occupied by Gonsolin.
Enter Dennis Santana, the last man cut from Los Angeles’ roster prior to Opening Day.
The Dodgers are promoting Dennis Santana after Tony Gonsolin went down.
Guess that “Scott Alexander vs. Santana” decision ultimately worked itself out alright, huh, Dave Roberts?
There’s nothing more valuable than having relievers with options in 2021’s edition of MLB action, and Santana certainly fits the bill. He’ll be throwing multiple innings at a time in every possible situation until the team needs Gonsolin back or another medical emergency arises, at which point he’ll be jettisoned back to the minors.
There are worse fates for a pitcher, though, right?
This spring, Santana started strong before wrapping things up erratically in a return to his normal baseline. Ultimately, he posted a 4.32 ERA in eight appearances, striking out 10 but allowing nine hits in 8.1 innings pitched.
His roster spot was the final decision made before the team broke camp, and even after he received a negative shake of the head, things broke his way a few days later with the Dodgers sitting prettier than on Opening Day at 3-1.
And thus, Santana has another chance.
He’ll likely have less of an impact on the Dodgers’ future than Gonsolin ultimately will, but there’s no time like the present to seize the reins, especially coming off the momentum of an eye-opening spring training battle that went down to the wire.