Bartolo Colon landed on the disabled list earlier this month with a right groin strain, but the second-place Athletics hope to get the All-Star right-hander back as soon as he’s eligible this week.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Colon threw 38 pitches in a bullpen session this afternoon without incident. If all goes according to plan, the 40-year-old will return to face the Tigers on Thursday. Slusser speculates that Jesse Chavez could be an alternative if Colon can’t go, as the Athletics have already ruled out Brett Anderson as an option.
Colon was knocked around for five runs in back-to-back starts prior to going on the disabled list, but he still owns a fine 2.97 ERA over 154 1/3 innings this season. His 1.46 BB/9 is fifth-lowest among qualified starters.
The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.
Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.
Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.
Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.
The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.
Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.