How Hank Conger could help Hector Santiago regain form

Hector Santiago is back with the Angels after getting demoted in May, and lucky for him Hank Conger will be behind the plate.

Hector Santiago is 0-6 with a 4.82 ERA this season.  

Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- There was no timetable for Hector Santiago to remain in Salt Lake City upon his demotion to Triple-A on May 21. It can be assumed, however, Tyler Skaggs going on the DL Monday expedited that process.

Santiago will be on the mound for the Angels Tuesday night when they host the first place A's starting at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports West. It will be Santiago's first start with the club since May 7.

On the year, Santiago is 0-6 with a 4.82 ERA. He made two appearances out of the bullpen before he was sent down to Triple-A.

Statistically, his stint in Salt Lake City didn't exactly go much better than his time in the majors this season. In three starts with the Bees, Santiago went 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia is optimistic Santiago can return to form.

Tyler Skaggs heads to DL as a precaution

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

"It's tough to evaluate just statistically what goes on when you're pitching in the PCL," Scioscia said, "but from a scouting perspective, I think, he got a feel for some things and, hopefully, it will work out on the field."

Scioscia, who describes Santiago as "effectively wild" is hoping his starter will have better command in his return.  

"You're not going to be able to expect him to find the pinpoint command but as far as the command of his secondary pitches, particularly his cutter, and also bringing that changeup into games, I think, are what make him tick," Scioscia said.

For Santiago's start on Tuesday, Scioscia has elected to put Hank Conger behind the plate. Santiago's best start of the season came on Apr. 14 when he pitched seven innings and gave up just one earned run. The result, however, was a no-decision against Oakland. Conger was behind the plate for that.

All told, Conger has caught three of Santiago's starts this season. In two of them, Santiago allowed one earned run or less.

"They have pretty good history even though it's a small sample," Scioscia said of the Conger/Santiago battery. "We'll just see if it's something that might help Hector."

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