PHILADELPHIA -- Hector Santiago's next turn was supposed to fall Tuesday night, when Triple-A callup Matt Shoemaker wound up pitching five innings of two-run ball in the Angels' 4-3 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
And don't think Santiago didn't realize it.
"There was no doubt I wanted to go into [manager Mike Scioscia's] office on Monday and be like, 'Hey, I'm ready for tomorrow,'" Santiago said before Tuesday's game. "The day he told me I was going to the bullpen, I wanted to say, '[Heck] no. Yeah, it's been a couple of bad breaks, and yeah, my numbers aren't great. But it's not that I can't do it.'
"I wanted to say, 'No, it's not happening. Let's go throw my Day 2 bullpen, I'm going to go out there and pitch.' But you respect him enough to be like, 'I know where you're coming from.' And I stepped back and took it for myself and thought, 'You know what, this could be a good thing.'"
Santiago -- 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA through the first seven starts of his Angels career -- is in the bullpen now, acting as the only lefty reliever and recording back-to-back outs in that role while in Toronto on Sunday. The club continues to call it a temporary move -- though Shoemaker will get at least one more start Sunday, against Rays ace David Price -- and Santiago wants another shot.
And for that to happen, he needs to get to his relievers' mentality, of trusting his stuff and not getting ahead of himself.
"I felt like this year, mentally, I was thinking 35 starts instead of thinking one start, game after game after game," said Santiago, who bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen his previous two season with the White Sox. "In past years, I was like, 'I'm starting today, but I might be in the bullpen tomorrow, so I'm just going to think about today.'
"I was going into this start, thinking about who I'm facing in five days. And I never did that before. Last year I went as hard as I can for as long as I can. I think I need to get to that."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.