Hey, would you look at that, some actual baseball news involving Johan Santana. How refreshing. Here’s David Lennon of Newsday:
At the end of an,
um, revealing week for Santana, confesses today that still “recovering”
from elbow surgery. Explains a lot.
It isn’t like Santana to make excuses, but it’s pretty easy to see that something isn’t quite right with him. The 31-year-old left-hander has a 3.31 ERA over his first 15 starts, which is good enough, but he is averaging a career-low 89.3 mph on his fastball. In turn, his walks are up — 2.85 BB/9 from a 2.51 BB/9 career average — and his strikeouts are way, way down — 5.69 K/9 from an 8.94 K/9 career average.
It’s convenient to shovel some dirt on Santana as an elite pitcher right now, but today’s admission actually gives me some hope for the second half. I mean, he can’t get any “worse,” can he?
The Dodgers have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with free agent right-hander Tom Koehler, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The team has yet to officially announce the signing, which is currently pending a physical.
Following a mostly-productive five-year run with the Marlins, the 31-year-old flamed out in 12 starts for Miami in 2017, eventually coming over to the Blue Jays in a midseason trade for minor leaguer Osman Gutierrez. He made a successful transition to the bullpen and finished the season on a high note, pitching to a 2.65 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 in 17 innings.
Koehler was non-tendered by the Blue Jays earlier this month and had attracted a fair amount of interest around the league prior to his signing. He’s expected to reprise his role as a middle reliever in Los Angeles, though Cotillo speculates that he could also bring some depth and balance to the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy rotation.