“Almost no chance” Johan Santana avoids starting season on disabled list

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There have been a lot of varying reports and mixed signals about Johan Santana’s health status and potential readiness for Opening Day, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News paints a picture that’s anything but optimistic.

According to Martino “the Mets’ private expectations for Santana’s April 1 availability are even grimmer than their public line” and “there is almost no chance that Santana avoids the disabled list at the beginning of the season.”

Obviously having Santana feeling good enough to start on Opening Day would be ideal, but missing a couple starts and rejoining the rotation in mid-April would hardly be disastrous. Of course, right now that’s looking more like the best-case scenario than the likely scenario, although Santana did some light throwing yesterday to show a little progress.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.