Bill Baer

FILE - In this file photo taken Aug. 11, 2012, New York Mets' Johan Santana pitches in baseball game in New York. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner has agreed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, in a deal announced Tuesday, March 4, 2014,  as he tries to come back from the second major operation on his left shoulder.  (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams, file)
AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams

Report: Johan Santana to attempt a mid-year comeback


MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that pitcher Johan Santana will attempt a mid-year comeback. Heyman adds that Santana has milestones as well as comfort and familiarity “in mind,” leading him to speculate a return to the Twins or Mets.

The last we heard of Santana, last month, indicated that he had begun a throwing program. The lefty hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has attempted comebacks several times only for them to be derailed by injury. Over that 2012 season, Santana compiled a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts for the Mets, but one of those starts included a no-hitter against the Cardinals.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s action

Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor watches from the dugout during an opening day baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Monday, April 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

At 0-7, the Twins have already established the worst start in franchise history. With the Braves also starting 0-7, it seems safe to say that we won’t be privy to a reenactment of the 1991 World Series. Last year, the Twins finished four games above .500, the first time they had a record above .500 since 2010. With Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano getting their feet wet last year and some additional youth on the way, like Max Kepler, it seemed reasonable to expect another finish above .500 and maybe even an appearance in the playoffs. Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated looked at teams that started 0-7 and found that none of the 25 previous teams made the playoffs. In fact, 13 of those 25 teams finished in last place and had an aggregate winning percentage of .384. If you’re in Minnesota, it’s quickly becoming time to pay attention to the Vikings.

The rest of Wednesday’s action:

Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler) @ Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark), 7:05 PM EST

Detroit Tigers (Shane Greene) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Ryan Vogelsong), 7:05 PM EST

San Diego Padres (Colin Rea) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jerad Eickhoff), 7:05 PM EST

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:07 PM EST

Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @ Boston Red Sox (Joe Kelly), 7:10 PM EST

Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly), 7:10 PM EST

Cincinnati Reds (Alfredo Simon) @ Chicago Cubs (John Lackey), 8:05 PM EST

Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon) @ Minnesota Twins (Phil Hughes), 8:10 PM EST

Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @ Houston Astros (Scott Feldman), 8:10 PM EST

Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake), 8:15 PM EST

San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy) @ Colorado Rockies (Jordan Lyles), 8:40 PM EST

Arizona Diamondbacks (Rubby De La Rosa) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Alex Wood), 10:10 PM EST

The Braves are 0-7 for the first time since 1988

Atlanta Braves shortstop Erick Aybar can't grab a ball hit by Washington Nationals' Jayson Werth during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A two-out, two-run double by Bryce Harper in the eighth inning on Tuesday sunk the Braves’ battleship. The Nationals’ lead held at 2-1 and the Braves fell to 0-7 to open the 2016 season. Per ESPN Stats & Info, it’s the Braves’ first 0-7 start since 1988 and their third since moving to Atlanta in 1966 (the other year being 1980).

What’s wrong with the Braves? Well, everything, really. Aside from Adonis Garcia and Nick Markakis, they’re not hitting. Freddie Freeman went 0-for-3 on Tuesday night, sending his average down to .095. He has exactly one extra-base hit, a homer.

Jhoulys Chacin pitched well in his start against the Nationals and that’s been a rare sight for the Braves. Their starters came into Tuesday’s action with a collective 5.94 ERA. Their bullpen has been worse, with a 7.84 ERA.

The Phillies were projected to be the only team in baseball worse than the Braves, and they’re 3-5 after beating the Padres on Tuesday night. Could the Braves actually be terrible enough to finish with the worst record and thus secure the first overall pick in the 2017 draft? A week and a half into the season, it seems like it.

Ichiro Suzuki passes Barry Bonds for 33rd on the all-time hits leaderboard

Miami Marlins pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki is out at first as New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) catches the throw after Suzuki grounded to short during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Ichiro Suzuki pinch-hit for Craig Breslow in the top of the seventh inning with a runner on second base and two outs during Tuesday’s game against the Mets. The veteran slapped a ground ball to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and dashed towards first base. While Cabrera’s throw appeared to beat Suzuki — and replay confirmed it did — Suzuki was called safe and it went unchallenged.

Dietrich kept running, rounding third base and going home. Alertly, first baseman Lucas Duda turned and snapped a throw to catcher Travis d'Arnaud to preserve a 1-1 tie.

With the single, Ichiro now has 2,936 career hits in the major leagues, breaking a tie with his own hitting coach for sole possession of 33rd place on baseball’s all-time hits leaderboard. Frank Robinson, with 2,943 hits, is next up.

Play of the Day: Maikel Franco plays pseudo second base

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (7) throws to first base for a force out of Cincinnati Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez during the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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With Padres first baseman Brett Wallace at the plate to lead off the top of the second inning in Tuesday’s game, the Phillies shifted their infield to the right side. That involved third baseman Maikel Franco playing where a second baseman typically would.

As fate would have it, Wallace hit a soft liner up the middle, forcing Franco to range to his right. He flagged down the ball, then in Jeter-esque fashion turned and fired a throw to first baseman Ryan Howard, who completed the out with a nice scoop.

MLB hasn’t provided embed code for the video yet, so click here to watch the play.