After receiving a PRP injection in October, Carlos Santana said that “Now, I feel 100 percent” in the wake of an injury-plagued season, the Royals first baseman told The Kansas City Star’s Lynn Worthy. This tracks with the 4-6 week timeline Santana initially gave in the wake of the injection, which was meant to help treat the Grade 2 quad strain that plagued the veteran slugger during the last six weeks of the season. Between the quad and other leg problems, Santana clearly wore down in 2021, batting only .185/.217/.284 over his last 351 plate appearances.
With this rough season lingering, Santana said that he is “working on a couple things that I need to help me, my swing and my body. That’s the only thing I changed. I started early, working out, compared to the year before.” Now entering his age-36 season, Santana has posted two below-average offensive years (as per the wRC+ metric) since his 2019 All-Star campaign, which is a little ominous for a Royals team that still owes Santana $10.5MM in 2022. While Santana has bounced back strongly from disappointing years in the past, 2021 was the worst of his 12 big league seasons by just about every metric, so Santana will have more of a climb to recapture his old form.
More from around the baseball world as we enter 2022….
- Brandon Nimmo is a free agent next winter, and “the expectation is” that the Mets will pursue a contract extension, The New York Post’s Mike Puma writes. Nimmo has a strong .266/.393/.445 slash line over six career MLB seasons, yet he has only 1695 PA and 457 games on his big league resume due to a variety of injuries. Given this checkered health history, one wonders how much of a long-term commitment New York would be willing to make to Nimmo, or if the Mets might only be willing to offer an extension at a relatively team-friendly price. From Nimmo’s perspective, he will have to weigh locking in some form of a guaranteed payday, or perhaps betting on himself to stay healthy and productive, thus potentially setting him up for a much richer free agent contract from the Mets or another team in the 2022-23 offseason. Hypothetically, the incentive-heavy extension between the Twins and another oft-injured outfielder in Byron Buxton could serve as something of a model for a Nimmo extension, if likely at a lower price point than the $100MM in guaranteed money that Buxton will receive. (Interestingly, Nimmo and Buxton are more comparable than one might think, in terms of fWAR.)
- Cardinals prospect Ian Bedell is set to make some light throws off a mound this week, according to Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This marks Bedell’s first work off a mound since he underwent Tommy John surgery back in May, and the 22-year-old has been able to continue his rehab normally with minor league staff, as Bedell and minor league team personnel aren’t subject to the lockout. The right-hander is tentatively still on schedule to return to action by May 2022, as Bedell is eager to resume a pro career that has already been set back by the pandemic and now his TJ procedure. Bedell was a fourth-round pick for the Cardinals in the 2020 draft, and he tossed only 2 2/3 innings for the team’s high-A affiliate before being shut down for surgery last season.