Carlos Santana might be dealing with a concussion

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Carlos Santana is off to an awful start this season. And things might be getting worse for him.

Santana was scratched from today’s lineup against the White Sox and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer hears that the Indians aren’t sure whether he’s simply ill or dealing with a concussion. It’s an understandable concern, as he was hit in the mask by a foul tip while catching Sunday’s game against the Orioles. Santana had a previous stint on the concussion disabled list back in 2012, so they’ll play things safe with him for now.

Santana, 28, is batting just .159/.327/.301 with six home runs and 17 RBI through 51 games this season while making the transition to third base.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.