Twins not concerned with Santiago's thumb

Left-hander will start Monday opener against Indians

Twins not concerned with Santiago's thumb

TORONTO -- The Twins aren't concerned about the health of Hector Santiago, and he will start the series opener against the Indians on Monday.

Santiago, who last started on Aug. 20, was given extra time between starts to allow his bruised left thumb to heal further. The 28-year-old left-hander initially suffered the injury in his July 2 start against the Red Sox while still with the Angels, prior to his Aug. 1 trade to Minnesota.

The news of Santiago's injury came as a surprise to the Twins.

"I'm not overly concerned about the surprise of it, but there are times where players, pitchers, deal with things that they feel are manageable," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Certainly don't want to be excuse makers. I don't have a problem that he's kind of just trying to find away to pitch around it, because he's still got velocity throwing pitches."

In the four starts since the trade, it appears the injury has affected Santiago. The southpaw is 0-4 with a 10.89 ERA, while allowing 3.3 home runs per nine innings while striking out 5.7 hitters per nine innings.

Santiago was 10-4 with a 4.25 ERA in 22 starts with the Angels prior to the deal.

"He talked about his ability on his offspeed stuff a little bit, his curveball, to have the same feel that he would like to have," Molitor said. "People have to pitch through things at times. It's not an issue for me that he's kind of trying to find a way to work himself through it."

Santiago allowed eight runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 10-0 loss to the Royals his last time out. Despite the struggles, Molitor believes the extra rest will help Santiago in his start against the Indians.

"I think he's fairly confident that whether it's improved significantly or a little bit that he thinks he's going to be out there and have a chance to win," Molitor said.

Molitor confirmed Canadian lefty Andrew Albers will start Tuesday's game while left-hander Pat Dean (1-4, 6.24) will get the ball in the series finale against the Indians.

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.