Johan Santana is slated for a “light bullpen session” at the Mets’ spring training complex Friday, according to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger.
Santana’s comeback was supposed to occur in September of last season, but multiple setbacks ruined those plans and the former two-time Cy Young winner joked yesterday that Friday’s bullpen session should be on Pay-Per-View.
Santana hasn’t seen game action since beating the Braves on September 2, 2010, missing all of last season following shoulder surgery, and is owed $24 million this season, $25.5 million in 2013, and $25 million or a $5.5 million buyout for 2014.
McCullough reports that manager Terry Collins was encouraged by how Santana looked while playing catch for about 10 minutes yesterday, noting that his arm slot and pace both suggested he’s no longer feeling significant shoulder discomfort. In other words so far so good, although we heard that at various points last year as well and Santana never pitched.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.