Sergio Santos has suffered yet another setback in his recovery from a shoulder injury that was initially said to be minor, as the Blue Jays closer canceled a scheduled Saturday bullpen session due to soreness.
Santos has been out since April 21 and it’s been about six weeks since he guessed he was about two weeks from coming off the DL, which is perhaps why he’s “closer Sergio Santos” rather than “doctor Sergio Santos.”
For whatever it’s worth manager John Farrell described the recent soreness as “normal for a guy ramping back up.” Of course, Santos would have already resumed closing for Blue Jays if not for multiple setbacks and that’s not quite normal for an injury listed as shoulder inflammation.
Acquired from the White Sox for prospect Nester Molina this offseason, Santos appeared in just six games before being shut down and the Blue Jays turned first to Francisco Cordero and then to Casey Janssen as his ninth-inning replacement.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.