It’s been nearly three weeks since Sergio Santos guessed that he was about two weeks from coming off the disabled list, but the Blue Jays’ closer hasn’t made a ton of progress with his shoulder injury since then.
In fact, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that Santos has yet to throw off a mound and speculates that he will be “out for at least the next three weeks.”
Santos, who’s been out since April 21, explained that the up-and-down nature of his recovery process has been “a little frustrating” but added that he’s finally feeling significant improvement.
Veteran closer Francisco Cordero was a flop filling in for Santos, but Casey Janssen has converted all three of his save chances and thrown five straight scoreless innings since taking over for Cordero.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.