Mike Pelfrey joins Twins’ rotation following Ervin Santana suspension


Twins starter Ervin Santana was suspended 80 games Friday afternoon after testing positive for Stanozolol. The move is a huge blow to the Twins, as they had signed Santana to a four-year, $55 million contract in December. The now-vacant rotation spot will go to Mike Pelfrey, Twins’ director of baseball communications and player relations Dustin Morse tweets. The Twins have recalled lefty Aaron Thompson to fill the open spot in the bullpen.

Pelfrey was expected to open the season in the bullpen after losing the spring training rotation battle to left-hander Tommy Milone. Pelfrey, who posted a 1.15 ERA in 15 2/3 spring innings, was miffed, initially expressing that he would be happy with a trade. After sleeping on the matter, Pelfrey took back his comments.

Pelfrey, 31, was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system, but he compiled a 4.36 ERA in the majors with the Mets before joining the Twins for the 2013 season. He underwent surgery for ulnar nerve decompression on his right elbow last June.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.