Orioles hoping to have Tsuyoshi Wada back on June 1

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Tsuyoshi Wada has yet to throw a pitch for the Orioles since signing a two-year, $8 million deal in December of 2011, suffering an elbow injury last spring that eventually required Tommy John surgery.

He’s on the comeback trail and Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports that the Orioles are targeting June 1 for the left-hander’s return from the disabled list. Dubroff notes that Wada threw four innings and 68 pitches in an extended spring training game and he’s a few weeks short of one year removed from surgery, so his timetable makes sense.

Obviously at this point no one knows what to expect from Wada once he’s healthy, but when the Orioles signed him out of Japan–where he had a 1.51 ERA in 185 innings in 2011–they viewed him as a potential mid-rotation starter.

Twins place Ervin Santana on 10-day disabled list

Ervin Santana
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Twins right-hander Ervin Santana is headed back to the disabled list after experiencing a flare-up of symptoms related to the MVP joint injury he sustained on his right middle finger back in February. According to club manager Paul Molitor, no timetable has been revealed for his return to the rotation, but given the significant time he’s already missed this season, it seems unlikely that he’ll play a significant role — if any — down the stretch. He’s currently scheduled to see a hand specialist on Tuesday, after which the Twins will reevaluate his status and decide whether or not to shut him down for the remainder of the 2018 season.

Santana, 35, underwent surgery on his finger in February and missed over five months during a lengthy recovery process. The veteran righty was activated from the 60-day disabled list in July, but has pitched to an 0-1 record in five starts since then, with an abysmal 8.03 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 through 24 2/3 innings. His most recent start, Thursday’s surprising 15-8 win over the Tigers, was also his worst of the season: He allowed seven runs and three walks over four innings and struck out just two of 22 batters faced before calling it a night in the fifth inning.

Given Santana’s continued struggles on the mound and the uphill battle he faces in recovery, it’s difficult to imagine that the team will exercise his $14 million option for 2019 come fall. Until then,  the Twins’ no. 5 prospect, 24-year-old southpaw Stephen Gonsalves, is expected to assume Santana’s spot in the rotation. Gonsalves turned in a 12-3 record in 22 starts for Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester, with a cumulative 2.76 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.0 SO/9 through 120 2/3 innings.