Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Big League Moment Angels Pitcher Hector Santiago Interview

For the 2014 off season the Angels participated in a 3-team trade to try to solve the rotation problems of the previous season. Slugger Mark Trumbo was dealt and in return the Halo's received two young arms Tyler Skaggs, a former Angel prospect, and Hector Santiago. Santiago is developing into a reliable arm in the rotation, building up a solid innings count with a very good K/9 ratio supporting his 3.56 ERA. While many writers are focusing on the potential of Skaggs, Santiago's arm has the potential to be the key bridge in the rotation for Halos this season and farther down the line.

Santiago was kind enough to do an interview and answer a few questions for me about his MLB career.

First off, new member of the Angels. How did you find out about the trade? Who broke the news to you about it?
"Rick Hahn, GM of White Sox called me."

How did you find out you were being called up to the Majors with the White Sox in 2011?
"My Double A manager called me early Sunday morning and asked if I could pitch for the Sox at night."

After your call up did any player go out of their way to show you the day to day of being a big leaguer and help mentor you?
"No not really I kept to myself and just went about my business."

Pitching coach Don Cooper, what was his biggest piece of advice to you as a young pitcher? 
"He always said focus and fastball command two big things pitchers need to have success."

You're a fan favorite in Chicago and likely one in the Anaheim being so twitter active. What's the biggest thing fans can do to show you support?
"Fans show their support all the time through twitter but actually showing up to games and cheering us on in good and bad times gives us confidence and trust in the fans. We love when we talk out and see our teams colors and logos all over the place. "

The White Sox are a popular franchise, how do you feel about autograph seekers? Do you mind it? Anything you especially enjoy signing?
"I don't mind signing anything or anytime but I hope that fans understand that we are at work and we can't always stop and sign. But I try to sign as much as I can! And I like signing team baseballs the most because it shows your team fan! But sweet spot is pretty cool!

This team is gonna be great. I see some MVP type seasons ahead and hopefully a Cy Young! Don't forget about Rookie of the Year!"

It was great of Hector Santiago to do spend some of his offseason doing this interview and I'm looking forward to him becoming an anchor in the Angels rotation for years to come. If you don't follow him on twitter you should follow the fan friendly pitcher's twitter @HecSantiago53

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