KANSAS CITY, Mo. Right-hander Ervin Santana is exactly the pitcher the Royals envisioned they were getting when general manager Dayton Moore traded for him last fall.
And at some point this summer, Moore and the Royals will have to decide if he is a pitcher they envision in a Royals uniform beyond 2013.
Santana is in the final year of the contract he originally signed with the Angels, a deal that will pay him 13 million this season (the Royals received 1 million from the Angels in the deal).
But while it is only May and too early for either Santana or the Royals to make any proclamations about the future, it is clear that Santana fits the mold of what Moore and the Royals look for in a starter: A durable innings-eater with a big-time strikeout pitch.
Santana, 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA, is averaging over seven innings per start and has 31 strikeouts in 36 innings. Those number might look even more impressive if not for Thursdays eventual rainout that erased four more shutout innings f...