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.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.