Johan Santana has been making steady progress in his recovery from multiple shoulder surgeries, but he’s clearly not ready to return to the majors yet and so the Orioles are trying to convince the two-time Cy Young winner to push back the opt-out clause in his contract that goes into effect at midnight today.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that the Orioles “think we’ll be able to work something out” with Santana before tonight’s deadline, which makes sense considering the reports last week that they could be planning to call him up to the majors as soon as mid-June.
Initially there was some talk of Santana potentially coming back as a reliever, but he’s looked good enough and stayed healthy enough that the Orioles now have him working as a starter. His velocity has been in the high-80s and, for whatever it’s worth, his results in extended spring training games were very positive.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.