I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Enyel de los Santos. Sometimes, when we watch a team for a long enough time, we get attached to certain players regardless of their ability level. For me, that was Everyday Enyel.
(w/ Philadelphia): 28 IP, 1.71 WHIP, 30.7 K%, 10.2 BB%, 2.25 HR/9, 6.75 ERA (5.24 FIP), -0.1 fWAR
Well, he sure knew how to warm up quickly, didn’t he?
Seriously though, having a guy like de los Santos is someone every team should have. A reliever that is able to get up quickly and have a rubber enough arm for the manager to be able to think, “Hey, I can use X player here...” is a useful reliever to have. One never knows when an inning might go bad, or when other, better options are simply too exhausted to be used.
de los Santos also struck batters out at a decent enough clip. That strikeout rate up top is a solid number, so solid in fact, it’s somewhat historic. de los Santos’ 13.5 K/9 is one of only three seasons in Phillies history where a reliever for the team has posted a K/9 of 13 or higher in 28 innings pitched or more (the others being Hector Neris in 2018 and Antonio Bastardo in 2012). That’s solid!
Unfortunately, de los Santos also got tagged in 2021.
That part about his season being historical. Yup, he also is the only pitcher in team history with 28 innings as a reliever, a K/9 rate of 13 or higher and an ERA above six.
Ultimately, the yo-yoing that the team did with his role the past few years finally caught up to him. Never really possessing the stuff to be a starter, but also not really consistent enough to be a reliever, de los Santos was that guy who could bounce back and forth between the majors and minors whenever someone new was injured on the big league team.
He was released in the later parts of the season, hooking on with the Pirates, where he’ll get a fair shot at showing his talents, however miniscule they might be.
Final grade: D
de los Santos isn’t a good pitcher, but we can’t completely give him an F since they needed him to fill a certain role. When it became clear that he wasn’t good enough in even that role, he was rightly released.
Godspeed, Enyel. He’ll probably turn into a league average reliever somewhere down the road.