GM Sandy Alderson said it’s simply a “tweak in the schedule, not a setback,” but Johan Santana had his second scheduled rehab start for Single-A St. Lucie pushed back from Wednesday to Thursday because he didn’t feel as strong as hoped after his last outing, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
It means Santana will be going on six days’ rest after throwing three scoreless innings his first time out.
Santana showed pretty good velocity his first outing back, working at 88-90 mph, but that his arm didn’t bounce back afterwards suggests that he still needs to be considered something of a long shot to contribute this year.
Santana has been out since last September following surgery to repair a torn shoulder capsule.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.