Johan Santana's knee does not hurt

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Former Mets’ pitching coach was on the radio yesterday, speculating
that Johan Santana’s struggles could be a result of knee pain. This was news to Johan Santana:

“How does he know that my knee hurts?” Santana rhetorically asked.
“That’s the question that I have. You guys tell me how the heck did he
find that out….Not even the trainer knows. Not even me. I didn’t know
my knee hurts. Just put it that way.

“We got along pretty good,” Santana continued about his relationship
with Peterson, “but the reality is he’s not here. I’m the one who feels
my body better than anybody, and my knee doesn’t hurt. I don’t know
where he got that one from. I’m being honest and realistic: My knee is
the last issue here. We took care of that last year (with Oct.1 surgery
to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee), and it has nothing to do
with what’s going on right now.”

Santana has always been a straight shooter, so there’s no reason not to
believe him. Sometimes guys get shelled, even the best of them. No one
thought CC Sabathia was hurt when his ERA was over a million last
spring, so why is everyone so unwilling to believe that Santana can
just pitch poorly from time to time? It happens.

But I am taken by Santana’s comment that “I’m the one who feels my
body better than anybody.” In addition to being a straight shooter, he
has also always been a class act, so I’m surprised to see him
disparaging Mrs. Santana like this.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.