Johan Santana is still working on a comeback

Associated Press

Johan Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since August 17, 2012, but he’s still working on a comeback. Jon Heyman reports Johan Santana is in the early stages of a throwing program and that he could be ready to pitch in a game by midseason.

Santana underwent shoulder surgery in April of 2013. Then he was trying to come back with the Orioles in 2014 before suffering a season-ending Achilles tear. He signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays this February 2015 after a brief stint in the Venezuelan Winter League, but he ended his comeback bid in June after a toe infection slowed his throwing program. The guy has just been snakebitten.

Could he pitch again? I wouldn’t bet a lot on it. But he does throw with his left arm and he certainly hasn’t forgotten what he knew back when he won two Cy Young Awards, so I wouldn’t bet it all against him either.

Orioles option LHP Bruce Zimmermann to minors

Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Baltimore Orioles have optioned left-handers Bruce Zimmermann and Nick Vespi and reassigned infielder Lewin Díaz, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez and catcher Mark Kolozsvary to minor league camp.

The Orioles announced the moves Monday.

Baltimore’s spring training roster now has 46 players.

Zimmermann made 13 starts last season. He went 2-5 with a 5.99 ERA.

The competition for rotation spots with the Orioles has been a significant story during spring training, but after the team acquired Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson in the offseason – and with top prospect Grayson Rodriguez in the mix as well – there were a lot of pitchers Zimmermann needed to beat out.