Twins righty Ervin Santana will continue his rehab assignment with a start today at the High-A level, as Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press tweets, after throwing 45 pitches in his first outing.* Santana has spent the first two months of the season on the mend from finger surgery, but is now ramping up in earnest in advance of a return to the MLB mound. The 35-year-old has turned in two-straight excellent campaigns in Minnesota and will be looked to for a boost again this year. Santana’s ultimate return could create some interesting rotation questions for the Twins. Veteran Lance Lynn has lagged Kyle Gibson and eye-opening youngster Fernando Romero in output thus far, so it’s tough to guess how the club will create an opening when Santana is ready. Of course, there’s still time for the picture to change in the interim.
Here’s more from the American League:
- The Rangers still aren’t ready to promote veteran righty Tim Lincecum to the MLB roster, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. Though he’s now eligible to return from the DL, Lincecum will remain on his rehab assignment for at least a while longer. The thirty-day limit expires on June 5th, so a decision point is coming soon on a player who signed a $1MM contract during Spring Training. Through 9 2/3 minor-league frames, Lincecum has allowed eight earned runs with a 10:7 K/BB ratio.
- In a mailbag, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan provides some answers to a variety of questions facing a disappointing Rangers ballclub. Of particular interest, he argues that “the odds seem high” that the club won’t deal away veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre. Though he’d surely be of interest to contenders, so long as he can get back to health and show well in advance of the deadline, Beltre is also still highly valued by the Texas organization despite the fact that he’s a pending free agent. Sullivan notes that, while Beltre’s future intentions aren’t yet known, it’s also quite possible that the future Hall-of-Famer will continue playing for at least one more season. It’s worth wondering whether the Rangers will attempt to keep the respected veteran around for 2019.
- Rustin Dodd of The Athletic examines the aftermath of a disappointing free agency for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas in an interesting subscription piece. It certainly seems that the veteran has adopted a rather sunny outlook, focusing on the many positives in his life rather than dwelling on the fact he was unable to secure yet more money over a longer term. As Dodd explores, that strikes a bit of a different note for a player noted for his fire. Some teammates feel the 29-year-old Moustakas was “screwed” in a funky market this winter, but it seems he’s making the best of the situation. Certainly, with a .275/.329/.502 slash through 228 plate appearances, he has done all he can to this point to set himself for a second crack at free agency.
*An earlier version of this post mistakenly indicated that this would be Santana’s first rehab outing.