Hector Santiago isn’t tired, but he’s also not happy with his current state.
With a career high for innings pitched already established, the White Sox starter was lifted in the fifth inning of a 3-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Friday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
Santiago (4-9) allowed three runs and six hits with three walks in four-plus innings pitched. Even though manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper have said they believe Santiago’s workload has caught up to him, the left-hander said he feels fine.
“Where I’m at right now is not where I want to be innings-wise and going deep into the games,” Santiago said. “I don’t feel tired. Maybe it is. But I honestly don’t feel like it is to use as an excuse. I feel like I’m definitely past where I’ve been in innings. But I don’t think I’m tired, and so far it has been pretty good all around.”
Prior to this season, Santiago had never pitched more than 132 2/3 innings. He currently sits at 142 1/3.
Over his past three starts, Santiago has seen his ERA rise from 3.25 to 3.54 as he has allowed 23 base runners in 12 2/3 innings.
“He’s probably a little tired,” Ventura said. “I would imagine that’s part of it. As far as being able to locate, he’s just getting into too much trouble.”
Santiago, who made his 22nd start of the season, doesn’t think he’s hit a wild stretch.
He threw strikes on 56 of 94 pitches on Friday against a lineup that likes to run deep counts and foul off pitches.
The left-hander has been a strong addition to the White Sox rotation in his first season as a starter. He has nearly averaged a strikeout per inning as a starter and has a good enough arsenal of pitches. But Santiago still has room for growth as evidenced by the 70 walks he has issued.
He hopes to finish off a good individual season on a strong note.
“I have two more starts I think it is,” Santiago said. “Hopefully I can finish off a little better than the last three or four games, whatever it has been. Kind of solidify that role and be able to start next year in 2014.”