WHAT'S UP WITH SANTIAGO?: Who is this impostor wearing Hector Santiago's uniform? This is not the man who was 6-0 with a 1.78 ERA in June. On Saturday, Santiago grooved pitch after pitch to Royals hitters, making them feel good about themselves again. Apparently, Santiago has joined the Twins and has since decided to address the number of batters he's been walking. He was leading the league in walks at the time of the trade. He's altered his delivery with the goal of improving his command. It seems to have altered his mental approach as well. ``That aggressive mentality where I let it fly and kind attack the hitters, I have a little blockage in there right now where I'm trying to control the zone and make everything over the plate,'' he said. ``It's kind of put me in a spot where I'm worried about throwing more strikes and not worried about getting guys to chase or making some pitches where they have to come to me.'' This is interesting. On one hand, if you can't work on things during a losing season like this one, when can you? On the other hand, he was winning when he was walking guys.He's eligible for arbitration after the season, and wins equal $$$$$. I wonder how long he's willing to risk wins to figure out how to be successful without walking batters?
VARGAS NEEDS A NEW HOME: Kennys Vargas was optioned to Rochester to make room for the callup of lefthander Adalberto Mejia. In 25 games, Vargas batted .259 with six homers and 13 RBI. His numbers dipped after a torrid start but he did show some progress with plate discipline. I feel he needs to move to another organization to get playing time. With Byung Ho Park signed for three more years and players in Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer who will need DH days, this is not the right fit for Vargas. And, yes, Vargas could develop into a 30-plus home run hitter in the right situation. Not sure about his defense, but a team looking for a DH who can spell someone at first would be a better fit than the Twins.
PITCHER ABUSE WATCH: Righthander Ryan Pressly on Friday took over sole possession of the AL lead in appearances with 58, and he did so emphatically. Pressly pitched the ninth and tenth innings on Friday of the Twins 11-inning loss to the Royals, working out of a two-on, one out jam in the tenth. By the time he was done, he had thrown 55 pitches, the most he's thrown in a game since 2013. ``Was he a starter then?'' Twins manager Paul Molitor asked humorously. Seriously, Molitor even went to the mound in the tenth to check on Pressly to make sure he could finish the inning. The manager is worried about running Pressly, 27, down. He's made steady progress since being a Rule 5 draft pick in 2013, and his 58 appearances are a career high. ``I don't want to use him for the rest of the series,'' Molitor said.``We have pushed him. His appearances are up.''