If Johan Santana is able to make it back from a second major shoulder surgery, it appears that he’ll do so in Baltimore.
Santana was spotted leaving the Orioles’ spring training facility Monday, and Roch Kubatko has reported that the club has "an agreement in place" with the veteran left-hander. Baltimore has become infamous for their in-depth physicals, which kept them from completing deals for Grant Balfour and Tyler Colvin this winter. However, since it’s a minor league contract, they shouldn’t have troubling OKing the deal for Santana.
A report from George A. King III of the New York Post stated that Santana sat at 77-78 mph and topped out at 81 mph during a workout last week. That’s certainly not encouraging but also not surprising. If Santana can’t eventually add at least another 5-6 mph to his fastball, it’s hard to see him having much success. According to FanGraphs.com, he averaged 88.4 mph with his heater in 2012.
Of course, the odds of anyone coming back from a second major shoulder operation and faring well are quite low. Santana will be assigned to extended spring training and eventually to a minor league affiliate as he attempts to work his way back to the majors. Projecting any sort of timetable for him right now is probably pointless, but Kubatko says the left-hander “may be at least a few months away.” Kubatko has raised the possibility that if Santana does make it up with the Orioles, it could be as a reliever.
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Greinke a No-Go for Australia
Zack Greinke made waves last month when he said he “can’t think of one reason to be excited” about the Dodgers’ trip to Australia for a two-game series versus the Diamondbacks on March 22-23. Well, it appears Greinke now has an excuse not to go.
Greinke exited his Cactus League debut last week after just four pitches due to a strained right calf, and he’s yet to throw from a mound again. While it seems likely that the right-hander will be healthy 18 days from now, manager Don Mattingly indicated that his stamina will not be built up enough at that point.
"From a standpoint of having 90 pitches, he won't be there," Mattingly told MLB.com.
Mattingly has also said that he might not ask Clayton Kershaw to start a game in Australia, either, citing workload issues after the lefty threw 259 1/3 innings between the regular season and playoffs last year. With Josh Beckett (thoracic outlet surgery) not an option, that means the Aussies could see two of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren, Paul Maholm or even Matt Magill start games in Sydney. Oi! Oi! Oi!
Big Day for Braves Pitchers
Wednesday is shaping up as a big day for the Braves’ pitching staff.
Mike Minor will throw his first bullpen session of spring training after dealing with some shoulder soreness early on in camp. The soreness was related to a delayed start to his throwing program following offseason surgery on his urethra (ouch). Barring any more setbacks, the left-hander is expected to be fine for the start of the season.
Gavin Floyd will face hitters in live batting practice for the first time since last May's Tommy John and flexor muscle surgery. The right-hander has been throwing off a mound for a while now, but facing hitters is still a nice step. The Braves hope to have Floyd as a rotation option by mid- to late-May.
Jonny Venters will do some light throwing off a mound for the first time since last May’s Tommy John surgery. As long as he’s feeling well, the reliever seems likely to be able to throw with max effort by the end of the month. Venters could rejoin the Braves’ bullpen by late May or early June.
Luis Vasquez will throw a live batting practice session for the first time since suffering a strained lat in the Dominican Winter League. The Braves are intrigued by Vasquez and his new side-arming motion and will give him a shot to win a bullpen job this spring.
Pads in the News
The Padres have their fair share of injury news in camp. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, and some of it is really bad.
Nathan Grimm got you started with the injury news on Cameron Maybin in yesterday’s Spring Training Daily, but we have an update on the outfielder’s condition and it falls into the third category that I mentioned in the last paragraph. An MRI has revealed that Maybin has a ruptured left biceps tendon, which will sideline him for the next 2-3 months. Whether or not he has surgery is still up in the air, and his timetable could change slightly based on that decision. Regardless, it’s another bad break for Maybin, who is looking at two straight injury-shortened seasons.
Huston Street will be held out of Cactus League action this week due to what is being called a “slight” groin strain. The Padres don’t consider the ailment to be serious, so for now Street should be expected back next week. Let’s just hope his groin strain heals faster than his calf strains have.
Carlos Quentin will make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday. The outfielder has been brought along slowly following another right knee surgery in September, but reports on him have been more positive recently than they were at this time last year. Quentin has undergone three surgeries on the knee over the last two years and has averaged just 84 games played per season in his two years in San Diego.