De Los Santos Impresses Rangers Brass





DALLAS — The hottest pitcher in the Rangers system is lefthander Miguel De Los Santos, who has found his stride after starting the season with injury concerns and an inability to command his fastball.

De Los Santos won his first three starts in August for high Class A Myrtle Beach, posting a 1.50 ERA, recording 32 strikeouts and allowing only six hits in 18 innings.
De Los Santos hasn't taken the normal path. He was originally signed as an outfielder in 2006 and converted to pitcher that year. He had Tommy John surgery the next year. This is his second full season playing in the United States.

Now that De Los Santos is healthy after dealing with biceps tendinitis in spring training and during the first month at Double A Frisco, the Rangers believe he's on the right track.

"Myrtle's been the fix-all for pitchers because it's a great park to pitch in," farm director Scott Servais said. "He's done well. I'm not concerned about his age so much as his health. The biggest thing is he's getting healthy."

While De Los Santos' fastball command was spotty early on, the great equalizer is his changeup. Servais said it a plus-plus pitch, and it helped De Los Santos strike out 112 batters in 70 innings last year.

He was at 118 strikeouts over 79 innings after his third straight double-digit strikeout game Aug. 16. The current plan calls for  De Los Santos to pitch in the Arizona Fall League and debut next season back at Double A, where went 1-3, 8.04 in 28 innings start the season.

"He can go to the fall league and build on what he's doing right now," Servais said. "He throws hard enough, 90-92. The fastball command needs to get a little bit better, but the changeup is the separator."

RANGER ROUNDUP

• Triple-A Round Rock manager Bobby Jones was honored Aug. 20 for recording his 1,500th career victory a week earlier at Sacramento. Jones ranks seventh among active minor league managers, and all of his wins have come in the Rangers organization.

• The Rangers acquired righthander Tim Wood in a waiver-claim trade with the Pirates and assigned him to Triple-A. But Wood, who had saved 23 games for the Pirates' Triple-A Indianapolis team, is also a candidate for a September callup to reinforce the big league bullpen.