The Chicago White Sox could have a surplus of starting pitching if left-hander John Danks continues his rehabilitation from left shoulder surgery.
But there's another consideration - left-hander Hector Santiago, who has pitched impressively in two starts in Puerto Rico as he hopes to land a spot in the White Sox's rotation in 2013.
After two starts, Santiago has struck out 13 in 11 innings while scattering 10 hits, walking three and allowing one run for Carolina of the Puerto Rico Winter League.
"Everything felt fine," Santiago said, one day after he struck out six while pitching five scoreless innings against Mayaguez. "It's looking like Cleveland. It's carried over from my last start in Cleveland. It felt good."
Santiago was referring to his final start of the regular season at Cleveland, where he pitched seven innings of one-hit ball while striking out 10. Santiago started the 2012 as the Sox's closer but moved to middle relief before he went to Triple-A Charlotte to get stretched out as a starter.
He said there is no limit on the innings he will pitch for Carolina and hopes to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic if invited. But he plans to stay with Carolina as long as possible, although there is the chance the Sox could shut him down so he'll get ample rest before spring training for pitchers and catchers start prior to Valentine's Day.
Santiago made 44 appearances and pitched 70 1/3 innings for the Sox in 2012.
Santiago reported that his family in Newark, NJ, wasn't affected as severely as others by Hurricane Sandy.
"We didn't get hit that hard," Santiago said. "There were four days on a generator, but we were far enough from the bad parts."
General manager Rick Hahn, meanwhile, seemed all but ready to close the door on the possibility of moving left fielder Dayan Viciedo to third base.
Sox's Santiago dominant in Puerto Rico
Chicago Tribune | Nov 16