Santana using spring jams to prepare for regular season

Despite throwing 50 pitches in two innings, righty learning to make adjustments

Santana using spring jams to prepare for regular season

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Twins right-hander Ervin Santana's first Grapefruit League outing on Saturday went so well he had to throw extra pitches in the bullpen after getting though two painless innings. But it wasn't the case in his second outing on Friday against the Pirates, as he struggled with his command and mechanics.

Santana got through two scoreless innings, but he needed 50 pitches to do it, including a strikeout of Sean Rodriguez with the bases loaded to end the second.

"I feel good, but I was opening my left shoulder too quick after the first inning," Santana said. "So that's why I threw so many pitches. But it's nothing to worry about. In the next bullpen session, I'll be working on it, and everything will be fine."

Santana said his changeup was also an issue, as he had trouble finding a feel for that pitch. He got two quick outs in the second, but then he promptly gave up a double and walked two batters to find himself in a jam. Santana, though, said that while it's never good to be in a jam, it was nice to be able to work out of it during Spring Training to get ready for those situations in the regular season.

"When you get two quick outs, that's where the damage comes most of the time because you feel like, 'OK, I'm going to be in the dugout any minute,'" said Santana, who recorded a strikeout to get out of the jam. "So sometimes I work too quick. But that inning it was good because I made an adjustment and found out how to throw strikes."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.