SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Before Hector Santiago took the mound for his 2013 Cactus League debut Monday at Scottsdale Stadium, manager Robin Ventura all but guaranteed the left-hander would be part of the White Sox Opening Day roster.
After allowing three runs on five hits over two innings in the 9-9 deadlock with the Giants, Santiago strongly and respectfully disagreed with Ventura. And that contrarian belief had nothing to do with Santiago's on-field results.
"I came to Spring Training fighting for a job like anybody else. I'm not guaranteeing myself a spot on here," said Santiago, who struck out one and didn't issue a walk in the start. "I've only got a year in and nothing guaranteed to me.
"Even if they say it, I could come in here and have a terrible spring. Anything can happen. But yeah, I don't consider myself on the team, not one bit."
There was one school of thought that had Santiago going to Triple-A Charlotte to stretch out if John Danks broke camp with the team after rehabbing his way back from Aug. 6 arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. But Santiago has the ability to adapt to pretty much anything, so he can serve as a rotation insurance policy for the team while contributing in the bullpen.
"Whatever they need," Santiago said. "I'm fine with anything I do. When that day comes, I guess we'll figure it out."
"He does a lot of different things, but right now, getting him stretched out is more insurance for Johnny," said Ventura of Santiago. "He would be timed up at the same time. Right now he's going to be starting and lengthened out. He's been able to bounce around and do a lot of different things."