Johan Santana is slated for a “light bullpen session” at the Mets’ spring training complex Friday, according to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger.
Santana’s comeback was supposed to occur in September of last season, but multiple setbacks ruined those plans and the former two-time Cy Young winner joked yesterday that Friday’s bullpen session should be on Pay-Per-View.
Santana hasn’t seen game action since beating the Braves on September 2, 2010, missing all of last season following shoulder surgery, and is owed $24 million this season, $25.5 million in 2013, and $25 million or a $5.5 million buyout for 2014.
McCullough reports that manager Terry Collins was encouraged by how Santana looked while playing catch for about 10 minutes yesterday, noting that his arm slot and pace both suggested he’s no longer feeling significant shoulder discomfort. In other words so far so good, although we heard that at various points last year as well and Santana never pitched.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.