The unforeseen consqeunce of the rise of no-hitters and perfect games throughout baseball; the simultaneous rise of celebration-related injuries.
Two weeks after Mets reliever Ramon Ramirez was hurt following Johan Santana’s no-hitter, Aubrey Huff has joined him on the disabled list with a knee injury sustained celebrating Matt Cain’s perfect game Wednesday night.
An MRI on Huff’s knee Thursday revealed a sprained right knee that was expected to keep him out at least several days. As poorly as he’s hitting, there wasn’t much reason for the Giants to play a man short while waiting on his return. Huff is hitting just .155 with one homer and five RBI in 58 at-bats this season.
Called up in his place was veteran outfielder Justin Christian, who was hitting .364/.432/.540 in 250 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno. The Giants bypassed the recently demoted Brett Pill, suggesting that they’ll commit to Brandon Belt at first base for at least the next couple of weeks. After going nearly 2 1/2 months without one, Belt has homered in three straight games.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.