Ervin Santana, who signed a four-year, $55 million deal with the Twins this offseason and then got suspended 80 games for PEDs before throwing a pitch, is now ready to join the rotation.
Santana has been “rehabbing” in the minors to prepare for being activated from the suspended list and he made his final Triple-A start Tuesday, throwing eight shutout innings.
Santana went 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio in three Triple-A starts and is scheduled to make his Twins debut July 5 against the Royals. His joining the rotation means the Twins will have to go to a six-man setup for a while or bump someone, with Tommy Milone and Trevor May the most likely candidates.
Dillon Gee pitched himself out of the Mets’ starting rotation and then his $5.3 million contract went unclaimed on waivers after being designated for assignment, so the 29-year-old right-hander stayed in the organization at Triple-A.
And now he’s getting knocked around at Triple-A.
Gee allowed six runs in his first start for Las Vegas and was even worse Tuesday, failing to make it out of the fifth inning while giving up eight runs on 13 hits.
Las Vegas is an extremely hitter-friendly environment in a very hitter-friendly league, but yeesh. Prior to this season Gee had a 3.91 ERA in 640 career innings for the Mets, but between Triple-A and MLB he’s allowed 43 runs in 49 innings this year.
Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz led the AL with 40 homers last season and ranks fourth in the AL with 19 homers this season, but he was asked to participate in the Home Run Derby and declined.
Cruz told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times that he’d “love to do it” but “I have to think about my teammates and my team … if I go there it can wear me out for two or three days after.”
Cruz was the Home Run Derby runner-up in 2009, losing to Prince Fielder, and went on to have a strong second half with an .839 OPS, but rightly or wrongly many players perceive the event as having a negative impact on second-half performance.
He’ll likely start the All-Star game at designated hitter after recently overtaking Kendrys Morales of the Royals in the American League voting.