Johan Santana goes two innings in rehab outing

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Mets left-hander Johan Santana tried to complete a minor league rehab assignment back in July, but he quickly felt lingering discomfort in his surgically-repaired left shoulder and was shut down for a big chunk of August. Now he’s back at it.

According to David Lennon of New York’s Newsday, Santana took a big step in the right direction Saturday, tossing two innings in an early-afternoon rehab game at Single-A St. Lucie. He allowed three hits and a run, but the veteran southpaw reported no issues with his shoulder and is likely to make an appearance of similar length next Friday. It was his first live game since July 28.

Santana is still optimistic about returning to the major leagues in late September for a couple of relief appearances, but he’ll have to avoid setbacks and continue making progress to reach that goal.

Santana, 32, had a 2.98 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 144/55 K/BB ratio in 29 starts for the Mets last season.

Report: José Ramírez diagnosed with knee contusion

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Indians third baseman José Ramírez had to be carted off the field in the top of the third inning of Sunday afternoon’s Cactus League game agaisnt the White Sox. Ramírez fouled a pitch off of his leg during an at-bat against pitcher Sean Nolin.

MLB.com’s Mandy Bell reports that Ramírez was diagnosed with a left knee contusion after he was taken for X-rays. The X-rays were negative, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Ramírez, 26, finished third in AL MVP Award voting last season, batting .270/.387/.552 with 39 home runs, 105 RBI, 110 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases across 698 plate appearances. He was worth 7.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. If Ramírez lands on the injured list, that would obviously be a huge loss for the Indians, despite being the overwhelming favorites in the AL Central entering the season.

The Indians will already start the season without second baseman Jason Kipnis and shortstop Francisco Lindor, though both are expected to return before the end of April. The infield is in rough shape at the moment.