TORONTO -- One week isn't going to make or break Sergio Santos' season, nor will it dictate the way his tenure in Toronto is ultimately defined.
Santos' debut in a Blue Jays uniform hasn't gone according to plan, but there were bound to be some ups and downs along the way as he attempts to become established as an elite closer in the American League East.
It's how Santos deals with the initial adversity that will tell the tale of how the next few weeks unfold.
"You can't change the past. All you can do is learn from it," Santos said one day after surrendering three runs in the ninth inning against Boston en route to his second blown save in as many opportunities.
"I take that as an experience and maybe it will help me out at some point in the season when that same kind of thing happens and things start to speed up. I can kind of look back and be like, 'All right this happened before. You have to learn from it.'"
Santos' ninth inning on Monday night started off on the wrong foot as he surrendered a leadoff double to Dustin Pedroia on an elevated fastball. The problems then continued with another hit, three walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball as part of the three-run frame.
It was a frustrating home debut, and after the game, Santos sat down with pitching coach Bruce Walton to identify where things went wrong. The club felt Santos was overthrowing, which then led to some poorly located pitches.
"I was just trying to do too much," said Santos, who recorded 30 saves in 36 opportunities with the White Sox last season. "I was trying to be too perfect with every pitch. Trying to locate at 97 mph and throw at 100, and you can't really do that. [I] just have to go back to square one, pound in the zone and attack hitters.
"If I'm throwing good pitches and they're still hitting them, I can live with that, but when I try to do too much, that's tough to swallow, because I should know better."
Santos was acquired in an offseason trade with Chicago to become Toronto's closer. His role's not going to suddenly change just because of two bad outings to start the year, but it's clear the two parties are still trying to get to know each other.
The 28-year-old Santos is a converted shortstop that pitched just 28 innings in the Minors before being promoted to the Major Leagues. In Chicago, he proceeded to throw 115 frames in two seasons, but there's only so many scouting reports to go on.
The Blue Jays knew all about Santos' overpowering fastball and slider combination when they pulled the trigger on the deal with the White Sox in December. Finding out how to get the most out of their prized acquisition, though, remains a work in progress.
"We're still learning Sergio," manager John Farrell said. "Yeah, we can go back and read reports and review all of the video that we want, but through experiences in the same uniform, that's where we get to learn more about him and what makes him most effective.
"It's very clear that [28 innings are] a quick path to the big leagues and really not a whole lot of developmental time, regardless of whether it's as a one-inning reliever or as a starter. He understanding who he is as a pitcher and how he's most effective, particularly with his effort level in his delivery and inevitably a pitcher is going to sacrifice command at times when they're trying to get maximum velocity."
Santos was limited to just five games in the Grapefruit League season this spring, as the club wanted to spend extra time working on his changeup and where he held his hands in the delivery. He also appeared in Minor League games and side sessions, so while the experience against Major League hitters wasn't there, the overall workload is.
The overall lack of innings in big league games could be used as an excuse for the slow start to the season, which has seen him allow four runs in 2 1/3 innings. That's not where Santos' lays the blame, though.
"It would have been nice to get more innings, but that's neither here nor there," said Santos, who has a career 3.53 ERA. "That's not a crutch for me. I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Look, I only threw X amount of innings, so that's why I'm not starting off great.'
"It's a part of the game. It's baseball. You have good days and bad days, so it's about weathering that storm, not making the bad days too terrible and on the good days not being on cloud nine. ... I still have the utmost confidence in myself to go out there and get the job done, and that's what I look forward to doing."