Minor scare down in the Dominican Winter League.
From ESPN’s Buster Olney comes word that Indians catcher Carlos Santana fouled a ball off his right leg — near the knee — during a game Saturday while playing for Leones del Escogido. He left with a limp, but Olney says trainers are “not concerned” at this point that he suffered any sort of serious injury.
We can probably just call it a right leg bruise.
Santana, 26, batted .252/.365/.420 with 18 home runs and 76 RBI over 609 plate appearances this summer for the fourth-place Tribe. He hit .239/.351/.457 with 27 home runs and 79 RBI in 2011.
The Dominican native underwent major surgery on his left knee in August 2010 after getting railroaded on a play at the plate by Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish. He made a full recovery from that procedure.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.