The Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels have played almost 60 seasons of baseball. As the baseball world is suspended due to circumstances outside its control, it is time to look back at the history of this organization. There have been many talented players to put on the uniform, and we at Crashing the Pearly Gates wish to highlight the best who have ever represented the Angels. Without further ado, here we go!
#44 – Ervin Santana
Signed in 2000 out of the Dominican Republic, Ervin Santana was a long time Angel, pitching for the team from 2005-2012. In those 8 years he had 233 starts, tied for 5th in franchise history. They were long starts as well with him getting the 7th most innings pitched by any Angel at 1,475 and 2/3 innings.
He was a welcome pitcher over the long run that would place well on many lists, but year to year he was a bit more frustrating to watch. He peaked in 2008 as an All Star and a stellar year of 16-7, 3.49 ERA, 127 ERA+ and 6th in the Cy Young voting. He also bottomed out in 2012, going 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA and an ERA+ of 74.
His No Hitter in 2011 vs Cleveland was the pinnacle of what he could do. It was significant not just because it was an excellent outing of 10 k 1 walk, but that it was the first no hitter for the Angels since 1990. Over 21 years of nothing despite having plenty of pitchers that will be further up on this list. Just 103 pitches for the first No Hitter at Progressive Field, and his first win vs Cleveland.
But his first big moment was as a rookie where he relived Bartolo Colon in game 5 of the 2005 ALDS and got the win. He pitched 5 and a third innings of relief giving up 3 runs and staying in there so that the Angels could get the win to win the ALDS.
His first ALCS game was not good, however, and showed the volatility he would have in his career when he got lit up by the White Sox in game 4. This would be his problem, as the postseason games didn’t go so well and even when he did do well, like his appearances in the 2009 ALCS when he allowed only 1 run, the team didn’t didn’t back him up. That is what makes pitching such a team position more so than hitting.
Still, he was enjoyable to watch when things did go well, which was more often than not. His 7 shutouts is 15th in Angels history and his 14 Complete Games is 26th most. He has 1,167 strikeouts for the Halos, 7th most to go with his 7th most wins at 96. Those strikeouts aren’t just accumulative either, his 7.117 K per 9 is 11th best in Angels history.
The late 2000’s Angels pitching staff was stacked, and a big reason why was Ervin Santana. He wasn’t the best, and sometimes was the weakest link, but overall, when he was on, he was on, wearing sunglasses and all.