Pitcher Preview: Kevin Correia vs Ervin Santana

Kyle Rivas

Both pitchers are having bounce back seasons.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Ervin Santana 5-5 15 15 0 0 0 0 105.0 88 35 32 14 18 84 2.74 1.01

Right now I'm proud to say that I signed Ervin Santana back in December during SB Nation's Mock Winter Meetings. But enough patting myself on the back, let's talk about why he's been better again this season after such a rough 2012.

Health is a factor, but performance is about a combination of factors. Confidence in your own abilities can be an integral component to being a productive and effective player, and it looks like those "intangible" factors are in his corner again this season. But then again, players are often confident when they're playing well.

Walk rates are up a little and walk rates are down, but in terms of the overall number of base runners Santana is doing a remarkable job of keeping himself out of trouble. But looking at his miserable 2012, it's not as though hitters were raking against him - they still hit just .238 compared to .225 this season. The single biggest reason that Santana has been so effective this season in terms of runs: stranding base runners. He's leaving 83% of his base runners stuck in limbo this season, compared to just 70% last season.

At some point that number will regress a little bit, but as long as he can continue to command his fastball as well as he has this season he's going to continue to have a good season. Hopefully the Twins can upset his hot streak a little bit today, but there's a reason he has a sub-3.00 ERA. He's been good.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Kevin Correia 6-5 15 15 0 0 0 0 94.1 107 40 40 15 15 50 3.82 1.29

After a rough stretch Correia has been back in the saddle over his last four starts, allowing 26 hits in 24 innings while giving up just eight runs (3.00 ERA). Oh, and he's also struck out 21 and walked three. In general, it's been about as good of a stretch from Kevin Correia as you could hope for.

There are a couple of keys to his chances at being effective. Firstly, he has to be able to get outs on his pitch. In spite of his recent spate of good strikeout numbers, Correia doesn't miss many bats and so most of every battle is a process. It's setting a batter up and keeping the ball out of the wheelhouse at the same time, and understanding when a pitch can be thrown that can get the out. And then the batter has to cooperate. As long as he wins enough of those battles, Kevin can have a good day. And secondly, when the Royals do string together a couple of hits, then Correia has to be able to rebound and still get his outs without surrendering the big inning.

Provided he can do both of those things, the Twins will have a chance to win today.

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