New Hire Orientation: Hector Santiago

Mr. Santiago, please come in and have a seat. So I see that you are going to be joining our little family this year. Terrific, terrific. Always good to have some new blood, especially on the pitching side of the business.

I haven't had much of a chance to go through your file, so forgive me if some of my questions are fairly obvious. I just had so little time to prepare. I knew we were hiring, but your name was not one that had come across my desk as a potential candidate. Don't take that as an insult, but we were casting a pretty wide net, so there were a lot of resumes to review and I couldn't get to them all.

With that out of the way, let's get started by talking about your role a little bit. I see here that your hiring manager hasn't actually decided what your job title is going to be. in fact, that looks like a bit of a trend for you. In Chicago, both at the big club and the farm, you've been splitting time between working as a starter and a reliever. Hopefully we will be able to give you a little more stability here, but I just can't promise you which role it will be yet as we haven't finished this hiring cycle just yet.

In my opinion, it seems pretty clear that you should be ticketed for the rotation. Comparing your performance metrics as a starter and a reliever, starting has the edge. You walk fewer batters, you strike out more batters but everything else is generally pretty similar. It also seems that you work just as well against righties as you do lefties, so there isn't much of an advantage to exploit in relief there either. If that is going to be what you do no matter what the job, well, I figure we might as well put you in a position where you can do it more often.

Do you think you can handle that workload? You seem like a fit fella, but the 149 innings you worked last year were the most you've worked in a year ever, including the minors. And there is also the matter of your average fastball velocity dropping by nearly a mile and a half. Now, I suspect that might be because you were working mostly out of the rotation last season whereas previous years were predominantly from the bullpen, but that is still a pretty noticeable drop off. I'm not sure if HIPAA allows me to ask this, but let's just say that "hypothetically" if there is some health issue with your arm, it would be better if you let us know up front… "hypothetically."

Now, am I reading this right? Under the skills section of your resume, it says you throw a screwball. There's no way that's right, right? Nobody has used one of those things in years. You really do? You're messing with me, right? Come on, you can't bullshit a bullshitter. Really? OK, fine. I believe you. I mean, I guess that would help explain how you can be effective against right-handers. Either that or it is just all of different tools you use. Four-seamer, cutter, sinker, slider, changeup, curve and screwball. Man, mix in a knuckleball and you'll collect the whole set, am I right? Ha! I'm just joshing ya.

I'm not one to tell someone how to do their job, but wouldn't it make some sense to maybe just focus on three or four pitches and refine them so that they are higher quality offerings? I don't know. That's just me. Of course, maybe I should just shut my big yapper because what your doing seems to be working just fine. Two years running your FIP is nearly a full run higher than your ERA. So you are either doing something right that we don't understand or you are one lucky son of a bitch.

Really, there's just so much here with you I'm not certain about. What's your role going to be? I don't know. Why do you throw such a variety of pitches? I don't know? How is it you throw a sinker nearly a third of the time and are such an extreme flyball pitcher? I don't know. What happened to your velocity? I don't know.

What I do know is that we are all going to figure it out together. Well, not me, actually. You and the management staff. I just on-board new hires. You're their problem now. So, I'm going to have to ask you to go ahead and get the hell out of my office now. Oh, and welcome aboard.

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.