While many fans apparently had a hint that the move was coming, the Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon officially recalled right-handed pitcher Dennis Santana from Triple-A Oklahoma City after placing Kenta Maeda on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip strain.
Santana will wear uniform No. 77.
Maeda made his 10th start of the season Tuesday night against the Phillies and was pulled from the game with two outs in the second inning with problems in his hip. He allowed two runs on three hits over 1-2/3 innings and struck out two batters. recording his fourth loss of the season.
The 22-year-old Santana will make his first appearance on a big league roster. He has split the season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A OKC, going 1-3 with a 2.54 ERA (14 ER/49-2/3 IP) and held hitters to a .196 average in a combined 10 starts. He has struck out a combined 65 batters against just 16 walks in 49-2/3 innings, while posting a 1.05 WHIP. The Dominican Republic native started the year with the Drillers, going 0-2 with a 2.56 ERA (11 ER/38-2/3 IP) and struck out 51 batters against 14 walks while limiting the opposition to a .183 average in eight starts.
Santana was promoted to the Oklahoma City Dodgers on May 18 and made his Triple-A debut the next day with a start against Nashville, allowing just three hits over six scoreless innings and striking out 11 without issuing a walk to record the win. In two starts with Oklahoma City, he has gone 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and has punched out 14 against two walks.
Santana, who was originally signed by Los Angeles as a non-drafted free agent on March 12, 2013 as a shortstop and converted to pitcher following the 2013 campaign, was added to the 40-man roster in November of last year. As far as his pitching repertoire goes, he’s probably best known for his heat, but it could be his diversity that makes him one of the best arms in the system.
“I think my two best offerings are my slider and my fastball,” Santana told us in an interview last fall. “I throw both a four-seam and a two-seam that sinks. I also use a changeup and a curve ball. Plus, I’m currently working on a splitter. My fastball normally sits at 96-98 MPH, but was clocked as high as 100 MPH at Rancho last year.”
Presumably, Santana will pitch in relief as somebody like Brock Stewart could take Maeda’s slot in the rotation. However, should the Dodgers not need the etra bullpen help over the next few days, there’s a possibility Santana could make his first big league start this weekend at Coors Field.
(Lauren Douglas provided some information furnished in this report)