Sunday, April 09, 2006

Is Johann Santana Tipping His Pitches?

Some say when he pulls his left ear lobe, expect a fastball. Some say expect a curve if he scratches his groin. But most hitters agree, when Johann Santana raises his arm to throw, chances are you're going to make an out. Santana's second consecutive bad performance, however, which brings him to 0-2 for the season with an ERA over 5.00, has fueled rumors that have been circulating for nearly a year that the Minnesota ace is somehow tipping his pitches, at least to those hitters who know how to read him. Twins coaches scoff at the assertion, but they have not addressed a concern that hurlers are so paranoid about the limitations of third baseman Tony Batista that the pitchers are limiting their repertoire to try to avoid hits down the left field line.