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.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.