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.

Anthony Rizzo to wear walking boot for five to seven days

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Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.

Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.

Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.