Twins right-hander Ervin Santana is likely to miss the rest of the 2018 season with a right middle finger injury, manager Paul Molitor told reporters Saturday. Santana is currently undergoing multiple PRP treatments on his finger, but it looks like that won’t be enough to guarantee his return before the regular season draws to a close at the end of the month.
It’s been a long, slow road to recovery for the 35-year-old righty, who followed up an All-Star appearance in 2017 with just five starts at the major-league level in 2018. He began the season on the disabled list after undergoing a capsular release and debridement procedure on his finger in February, then lost approximately 4.5 months of the season to continued rehab. Given more time to recuperate over the offseason, the hope is that he will be able to return to full strength by spring training in 2019, though there’s no guarantee either way.
Santana will finish his abbreviated 2018 campaign with an 0-1 record in five starts and an 8.03 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 across 24 2/3 innings. He’s in the last year of his four-year, $54 million contract with the Twins, but still has a $14 million club option remaining for the 2019 season. Over four years in Minnesota, he’s compiled a cumulative 30-25 record in 85 starts with a 3.68 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 7.1 fWAR through 525 1/3 innings.
On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:
I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.
While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”
Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.
At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.