DETROIT -- Teams such as the Tigers, Rangers, Yankees, Indians and Orioles await Hector Santiago among his 11 projected starts through the end of 2013 campaign. Although he certainly has proven worthy of the starting rotation, with 96 strikeouts over 88 2/3 innings and a 3.15 ERA in 15 starts, Santiago believes the finish to the season will have a bearing on his role in '14.
"Obviously now we are in the heat of the mix, and we are going to be facing Detroit and the Yankees and a lot of tough teams coming up right now," Santiago said. "This is the challenge right here to whether I solidify myself as a starter in '14 or if I'm a guy who can go back and forth and be that rover from the bullpen."
Santiago has talked about starting as almost his calling from early on in Spring Training, '12, before he even broke camp with his first big league squad. But the energetic southpaw wouldn't be disappointed if he ended up in that blended starter/relief role for the White Sox, with left-handers Chris Sale, John Danks and Jose Quintana already seeming like locks for future rotation spots.
"I don't know what their plans are," Santiago said. "If it's [Erik] Johnson or whoever else is down there coming up behind us or they got rid of [Jake] Peavy and maybe that loosens up money, where they go up and get someone else in free agency or trade.
"You can't control that. Your job is to go out there and pitch and show them you can pitch every day or every fifth day and be a starter here and especially in this division."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.