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RHP Ervin Santana feeling like rookie with Royals

Associated Press Modified: November 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm •  Published: November 12, 2012
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Santana, who will turn 30 in December, has shown the potential to be a No. 1 starter, winning at least 16 games in three seasons. He threw a no-hitter in 2011 and a one-hitter last season, yet he confounded the Angels with his inconsistencies in 2012.

His resume combined with his raw talent drew comparisons to skeptics in Kansas City of Jonathan Sanchez, the former Giants pitcher whom the Royals acquired last season, and who performed so poorly this season that the team basically gave him away midway through the summer.

Santana said he's spoken at length with Moore, along with Royals manager Ned Yost, and everyone in the organization appears to be optimistic that the hard thrower with the hard slider and backdoor curveball can become a dependable piece of the rotation.

"They called me and told me they're happy to have me," Santana said, "and they can't wait to work with me, and I can't wait to work with them."

Santana said he's also jazzed about working the Royals' collection of young defensive talent.

Left fielder Alex Gordon recently won his second Gold Glove, Mike Moustakas evolved into a solid third baseman, shortstop Alcides Escobar showed tremendous range, and Eric Hosmer had a good enough year at first base that his defense helped even out his offensive shortcomings.

"It's a young team, a lot of talent, and an aggressive team. They score a lot of runs," Santana said. "To me, it's the same baseball. Nothing's changed. Just coming here to do my job."