The Dan Haren trade last summer could benefit the Angels' rotation in more ways than one.
Haren has been working with Angels starter Ervin Santana on developing his split-finger pitch this spring. Last year, Santana won 17 games throwing 90 percent fastballs and sliders.
Santana has wanted to throw the pitch for the past three years, but he hasn't had the confidence to bring it into games. He has thrown a handful in each of his starts this spring, though he didn't use it in his solid five-inning outing at Dodger Stadium Monday night.
Santana finished his spring with a 2.42 ERA and will make his season debut Saturday in Kansas City. He credits Haren with helping him master the split-finger grip. Haren has one of the best split-finger pitches in baseball.
"He's natural. He can throw it in any count," Santana said. "The main thing is you have to have confidence in it."