Toronto missed out on Ervin Santana after apparently thinking he was all but signed, with general manager Alex Anthopoulos saying the free agent right-hander joined the Braves instead because he didn’t want to pitch in the American League.
Now that the dust has settled on that situation Blue Jays manager John Gibbons indicated during a Sportsnet 590 radio interview today that the rotation spot they hoped would go to Santana will likely go to right-hander Drew Hutchison, who missed all of last season following Tommy John elbow surgery.
Prior to blowing out his elbow Hutchison was a very good prospect who had a 2.53 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 149 innings as a minor leaguer in 2011 and then showed promise as a 21-year-old rookie in 2012.
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.