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Dodgers: First Rehabilitation Start for Dennis Santana

Dodgers
Jun 1, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dennis Santana (77) delivers a pitch in the fouth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Dennis Santana pitched in a game was his Major League debut on June 1, 2018. The game was in Colorado and the Dodgers decided to use an “opener”, Scott Alexander. Dennis followed Alexander and pitched 3.2 innings and ended up with the win. He also was able to show that he is a pitcher who rakes by hitting a double to the wall in his first MLB at bat that drove in 2 runs. Soon after, right before he was to make his first start, he was scratched due to a shoulder issue. He was soon placed on the 60 day disabled list.

In late August Santana documented his first bullpen session to show his progress. Now we are in early September and I heard through the grapevine that he would have a rehab start in Rancho Cucamonga with the Quakes in a playoff game. It was going to be a one-inning start or 25 pitches. Below is Dennis just getting started with his outfield workout.

Here he is getting warmed up in the bullpen:

 

Santana’s pitch selection is a fastball, changeup, slider and a slurve. He threw them all in his brief appearance. The first batter grounded out on two pitches then the next batter flew out to center field. Then, of his next nine pitches, eight were outside the strike zone. He spoke with Ron Cervenka of Think Blue LA and myself after the game and said he was a bit excited, it being his first appearance and it being in a playoff game, so that might be part of the reason for the sudden lack of command. After the two walks, he proceeded to strike out the next batter on four pitches including 2 fastballs each at 93 MPH and 2 off-speed pitches.

A quick overview of his pitches, the threw 20 pitches, 9 were strikes. His off-speed pitches generated 3 swings and misses. His fastball sat around 92-93 and topped out at 94 MPH. Overall, Santana was pleased to be out there and feeling healthy. I asked him, what felt best and he said: “nothing hurts, that’s the most important today, I’m healthy.” The full interview conducted, first with Ron Cervenka then the last part with me is below:

Dennis does not know what the next step is as he was only told about the one start. He feels ready to help the Dodgers but, even if they choose not to activate him from the disabled list, 2019 lines up to be a big opportunity. Santana is the Dodgers number 5 prospect according to MiLB and with some continued health he will be on the Dodgers MLB roster in 2019.

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Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

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