After missing all of last season following shoulder surgery Johan Santana was back on the mound today for the first time since September of 2010 and held the Braves scoreless for five innings in a no-decision.
Santana unraveled a bit in his final inning, walking No. 8 hitter Tyler Pastornicky and pitcher Tommy Hanson, but escaped the jam by getting leadoff man Michael Bourn to hit one back to the mound.
His fastball topped out in the high-80s, but that wasn’t uncommon for Santana even before the surgery and he racked up five strikeouts in five innings, including Dan Uggla twice.
Santana threw 54 of 80 pitches for strikes while allowing just two hits and two walks. Not quite vintage Santana from his Cy Young-winning days, but close enough that the Mets have to be awfully pleased with how he looked after a 570-day layoff.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.