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Dodgers: Dennis Santana Could Be Working His Way Into the Opening Day Roster

The Dodgers will enter the 2021 season with ridiculous pitching depth, that’s no secret. They have so much depth that there are a few Major League-ready arms that could find themselves starting the year waiting in the minor leagues. 

Dennis Santana may or may not be one of those guys. The Dodgers have one more option year on Santana and could utilize it throughout the season. Thus far, he has looked phenomenal coming off of series of injuries and a very down year in the minors in 2019. 

According to manager Dave Roberts, Santana has a real shot at cracking the Opening Day roster. That would likely come with a bullpen role for Dennis and could further complicate a very cloudy pitching staff situation. 

He’s got a good opportunity. I think if you’re talking about Dennis, it’s in the ’pen. It’s a guy that can get left and right out with his changeup to the lefties and can take down a couple of innings, potentially three innings. Obviously, we’re very fond of Dennis and he’s doing everything he can up to this point.

Santana’s latest outing adds to what has already been a very good Spring camp. He tossed a scoreless inning against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night in which he struck out two more for the Dodgers. 

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The best sign for the Dodgers with Santana is that he is yet to issue a walk. During the rough phase of his very young career, control issues were the biggest indication that something wasn’t working. But something looks different about Santana early on, and it hasn’t gone noticed by Roberts.

He noted that Santana has looked as healthy as ever, and the confidence behind each pitch proves it. The Dodgers might not need another great arm to add to the competition, but they certainly have one. 

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  1. I remember watching Santana pitch for Dodgers AAA club at a game in Colorado Springs a couple of years ago. He looked ok but walked a lot of batters. I remember thinking he didn’t “look” like a guy who was a major leaguer. Verdugo played in same game and he looked very much did have the look. Last nite he looked like a big leaguer! I hope it works out for him.

  2. A couple off years ago I was at an offseason bullpen/coaching session with a pitcher I was working with. Dennis was in the next pen working on his repeatability and control. It sounded at the time like they were focusing on where his knee came up during his windup. Apparently it’s working!

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