Johan Santana's recovery timetable: 24 weeks

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So, Johan Santana is having major surgery. How major?  Injury expert Will Carroll is promising a writeup over at Baseball Prospectus on Monday, but he provided a link to an explanation of the rehab program for the surgery Santana is getting.  There’s a lot of jargon in there, but it’s pretty clear that the time table for the rehab is 24 weeks, though he can — according to the linked article — throw at 20 weeks, which is mid-February.

But note that is “throwing,” not “pitching.”  And it’s worth noting that the press release regarding Santana’s injury
said that he would begin “throwing” by spring training. In light of that, it’s an open question whether Santana will be ready to pitch
on Opening Day 2011.  It’s also an open question if he’ll be the old
Johan Santana or if he will be but a shell of himself following what
appears to be major surgery.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.