Twins right-hander Ervin Santana underwent surgery on his right middle finger nearly six weeks ago, on Feb. 6. He’s still unable to grip a baseball in the wake of the procedure, per Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. Santana won’t be able to start a throwing program for as long as that’s the case, which could put his 10- to 12-week recovery timeline in jeopardy. Asked whether he’s still on track to return on schedule, Santana said: “I don’t know. They didn’t say a specific time, but for me I just want to come back when everything is 100 percent. I don’t want to rush anything.” The Twins are in much better shape than they were when Santana landed on the shelf, having since added Jake Odorizzi via trade with the Rays and Lance Lynn in free agency.
- Righty Jeremy Hellickson languished on the open market from November until Friday, when he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals. Interest was otherwise hard to come by for Hellickson, even though he has enjoyed a decent career to this point and is fairly young (soon to be 31). “They were actually the first team that called,” Hellickson said of Washington (via Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com). “When Scott (Boras) told me the Nationals, I thought: ‘That’s a perfect situation.’“ Hellickson, who had been working out with other Boras clients before signing, noted that his first trip to free agency “wasn’t fun.” Now, he’s “excited” about his new team and hoping to win the fifth spot in its rotation.
- Mariners righty Erasmo Ramirez has been down with a lat strain for nearly a month, and he might not be ready to return by April 11, when the team will first need a No. 5 starter, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. If Ramirez isn’t back by then – manager Scott Servais noted that an April 11 return “would be very aggressive” – the Mariners are likely to go with left-hander Ariel Miranda or righty Robert Whalen, Divish writes.
- Red Sox reliever Bobby Poyner is “a legitimate candidate” to earn a roster spot, Ian Browne of MLB.com writes. The 25-year-old left-hander entered camp as a non-roster invitee, but he has since thrown 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball during spring action, which has put him “in the mix” for a big league role, according to manager Alex Cora. Poyner, whom the Red Sox selected in the 14th round of the 2015 draft, hasn’t even garnered any Triple-A experience to this point. He divided last season between High-A and Double-A, combining for a 1.49 ERA with 12.5 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 over 60 1/3 innings.
- While it’s up in the air whether Poyner will be part of Boston’s season-opening bullpen, that’s not the case in regards t Craig Kimbrel. The closer has been away from the team since Feb. 28 because his 4-month-old daughter, Lydia, had heart surgery. Fortunately, she’s recovering well, relays the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, who adds that Cora expects Kimbrel to be ready for Opening Day. Kimbrel’s on his way to camp, where he’ll throw live batting practice Monday.
- As expected, Rangers lefty pitching prospect Cole Ragans will undergo Tommy John surgery, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News was among those to report. And in further bad news for the Rangers’ prospect pool, righty Kyle Cody is dealing with elbow inflammation. Surgery may eventually be in the offing for him, Grant tweets. The 23-year-old Cody ranks as Texas’ No. 8 prospect at MLB.com.
Pretty sure Ragans is lefty, if memory serves.
according to the link, yes he is.
People forget Hellickson is a former ROY and Gold Glove winner.
I’m not sure people forget that, it’s just not all that relevant to 2018 hellickson.
Don’t bother arguing with this guy. He’s a troll who on every post says something like “people forget that (player name) won (award) in (year that has no relevance to 2018)”.
My heart goes out to Kimbrel’s family. Hope his daughter continues to recover.
I second that! I can’t imagine their fear and the toll this is taking on them all.
This is phenomenal news about the Kimbrel family!!!!
For a second their I thought it said cole hamels was having tommy John. Nope just cole ragans.
Spring Training stats aren’t predictive; but they can show potentially meaningful outliers; and Rob Whalen has 16 Ks vs. 2 ERs over 11 innings in Mariners camp, mostly early in games against MLB players.
They’re meaningless at face value… but they keep track for a reason.
My guess, like most Boras players, he convinced Hellickson to turn down money early this season and will now be playing in the minors. He probably just trying to save face. It’s funny that early signings like Santana won the offseason and all the people who went with the classic strategy of waiting for a bidding war failed.
Maybe we’ll see some of the big names fly off the board quick next year. Football, hockey and basketball can basically clear out nearly every top free agent within a couple of days. I don’t know why baseball can’t do that.
Boras works for his clients. They make the final decisions. I’m stunned people can’t understand this.
The NFL, NBA and NHL have salary caps, so it’s a lot easier to figure out the slots available and how to get a client there. Salary caps, of course, are an artificial barrier in a free-market economy and should be eliminated, but, nonetheless, they exist. In MLB they do not and it isn’t quite as linear to align players with teams.