Don't make out-of-town plans for October! The Phillies have signed free agent reliever Julio Santana.
I got a little excited when I read the Phillies had signed J. Santana. Then I realized it was free agent reliever Julio who pitched with Milwaukee, not Johan, who won the 2004 Cy Young for Minnesota.
Santana agreed to an $800,000 one-year deal with performance bonuses today. Santana passed his physical late yesterday afternoon.
The 31-year-old right-hander pitched in 41 games with the Brew Crew, all in relief, going 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA. He had a pretty good stikeout to walk ratio (49/19), with an encouraging fielding-independent ERA of 3.88.
Julio, and the Phillies, will be glad to see a deeper porch in left. He’s a fly ball pitcher and allows homers to the tune of 1.3 a game last season (6 in 42 innings), right up there with the 1.5 a game Ugueth Urbina allowed.
He started last season with Triple-A Nashville (8 games, 2-0, 1.50 ERA) before having his contract purchased by the Milwaukee Brewers on April 29. He was signed by Milwaukee as a free agent on December 23, 2004, after pitching that season with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League (29 G, 2-2, 1.89 ERA).
Beerleaguer doesn't care that much about Julio Santana
I'm now accepting bets on who will win the battle for the final spot in the bullpen, Santana or Aquilino Lopez. Santana does not project as a late-inning, high-pressure reliever, which is what the Phils need most. He's what I like to call a Quad-A pitcher, someone who straddles the line between Triple-A and the bigs.
At least the Phillies won't have to face him again. Last season, he held the Phillies to a .083 batting average in 3.2 innings of work, including four stikeouts.