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When did Johan Santana become Brad Radke?

Posted at 11:30 AM on September 25, 2007 by Steve Rudolph (2 Comments)

In all likelihood, Johan Santana pitched his last game for the Twins in the Metrodome last Friday night. And as been the case for much of the season, it left much to be desired.

Granted, Santana hasn’t started a meaningful game since…oh…last October. But you still have to wonder what’s happened to the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

Entering Friday’s 6-4 loss to the White Sox, Santana’s ERA in the first inning this season was a whopping 6.10. Making it even more glaring is the fact that 30 percent of the runs he’s given up this season have come in the game’s first frame.

Santana didn’t let fans down on Friday when he served up a pitch that Josh Fields sent 420 feet the other way. It was the fifth home run he’s given up in his last six starts – a stretch during which he’s given up 13 first-inning runs.

As bad as Santana has been early, I don’t think it will diminish his trade value in the off-season. Pitching is always at a premium and the Twins should be able to get four or five players/prospects in return for him.

The question is, what do the Twins need most in exchange for Santana: a third baseman, a centerfielder or a left fielder?

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