Johan Santana’s stopped throwing about one month ago after he experienced some soreness in his surgically-repaired shoulder, but his rehab took a step in the right direction earlier this week.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Johan Santana threw a bullpen session Wednesday at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. If the southpaw is able to complete another bullpen session without discomfort, he is expected to advance to a “spring training-like” program.
While Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com that Santana’s schedule has been “somewhat unpredictable,” the expectation is that he could return sometime in August if all goes well.
Entering play Friday, Mets’ starters ranked eighth in the National League with a 3.89 ERA. They were sixth with a 3.80 ERA last season.
The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.
Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.
While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.