Ervin Santana working his way back from 80-game suspension


Ervin Santana signed a four-year, $55 million contract with the Twins as a free agent this offseason and then got suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drugs before the end of spring training.

He’s eligible to return in early July and currently working out at the Twins’ extended spring training complex in Florida, with Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting that Santana will join the Triple-A Rochester roster for a start Saturday.

Santana is expected to throw around 90 pitches, so he’s pretty much fully stretched out with a couple weeks to go before the suspension ends. He’ll almost surely join the Twins’ rotation immediately.

Right now July 5 versus the Royals looks like the targeted return date for Santana, who pitched for Kansas City in 2013.