Along with adjusting to his new surroundings with the Kansas City Royals, Ervin Santana also has to form chemistry with new battery mate Salvador Perez.
Perez, after starting 74 games last year, will enter his first full season in the majors. Despite being so young, the catcher already has the confidence of his newly-acquired teammate:
"He's very intelligent; he knows what he's doing behind home plate," Santana said. "He knows how to read the guy's mind, and he works fast. He's trying to be on the same page with the pitcher."
The Venezuela native will have to get acclimated to Santana's repertoire, which includes a four-seam and two seam fastball, a slider, a changeup and the occasional curveball.
Santana struggled at times with the Los Angeles Angels in 2012, finishing with a 9-13 record and a 5.16 ERA, the second-highest mark in a season for his career. Despite having some injury history, Santana is healthy and has started at least 30 games in each of the last three years.
The Royals will need Santana to bolster their pitching staff, which ranked 24th in the MLB with a 4.30 ERA.