Johan Santana’s latest comeback shut down with more shoulder problems

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Johan Santana’s body will apparently not allow a comeback to happen. Or at least not without a bunch of setbacks first.

Finally healthy again after tearing his Achilles’ tendon last spring while coming back from multiple shoulder surgeries, Santana has been pitching in the Venezuelan winter league. But now he’s been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with shoulder soreness.

According to a report out of Venezuela he underwent an MRI exam that showed no structural damage, but Santana has struggled to recover from game action and everyone involved decided to shut him down.

Santana had two Cy Young awards and three ERA titles through age 29, when he led the league in ERA (2.53) and innings (234) for the Mets in 2008. Since then he’s been injured more often than not, including last pitching in the majors in 2012 and missing the entirety of three of the past four seasons.

What a shame.

Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game

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The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.

Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.

There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.

That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.

The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.

One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.

Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.

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