Signed to a one-year, $14.1 million contract on March 12, right-hander Ervin Santana will make his Braves debut Wednesday against the Mets in Atlanta.
Santana wasn’t ready to begin the season in the Braves’ rotation because he reported to spring training late and needed time to build up his normal arm strength, so instead he made a minor-league start Friday at Triple-A and allowed six runs in 5.1 innings.
Santana was one of the best pitchers in the league last season for the Royals, throwing 211 innings with a 3.24 ERA at age 30, but teams were unwilling to give him a huge long-term contract as a free agent in part because signing him also required forfeiting a draft pick. His inconsistent track record also played a part, as Santana had an ERA above 5.00 in 2012 and 2009, but Atlanta’s hand was forced by multiple injuries to the rotation.
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Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.