Changing Timeline: Is It Time To Start Worrying About Santana?
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsDoctor, Doctor, Gimme The News
Last week when the Twins returned home, Derek Falvey told media members that the team was considering sending Santana to New York City. Dr. Charles Melone, the man who operated on Santana, could perform a follow-up examination to make sure the pitcher was progressing appropriately.
“I think having the surgeon review (his recovery) is critical to assessing where he is in that timeline,” Falvey told the Pinoeer Press. “No setbacks. He’s in a good place. He feels good. We just want to make sure the timeline is right.”
The Twins have shifted course over the weekend and Santana will head to the Twin Cities to be examined by the team’s doctors. He is scheduled to be in Minneapolis on Tuesday before returning to Fort Myers to continue his rehab.
A few weeks ago, fans were worried on hearing that Santana was unable to grip a baseball. Since then, he has been able to grip a baseball and do some very light throwing. A return in May seems more likely with him now being able to play some light catch. Minnesota’s rotation got off to a good start during the season’s opening week and the team won’t need to fill Santana’s rotation spot until later this week.
When Jake Odorizzi was announced as the starter, I projected the starters out through the middle of April. With Minnesota missing a game on Sunday, the projected rotation got pushed back. Friday will be the first time Minnesota will need to utilize a fifth starter. Phil Hughes is working his way back to the mound so the club could use him on April 13th against Chicago. If Hughes isn’t ready to go, another pitcher might have to fill in as the fifth starter.
Eye To The Future
Santana has some money on the line as well this season. If he pitched over 200 innings, his $14 million option would vest for 2019. He’s only pitched 200 innings once over the last four seasons and that was last year when he tossed 211.1 innings. He likely won’t make enough starts the rest of 2018 to reach the 200 inning mark.
Minnesota could still pick up Santana’s option for $14 million or the club would be forced to pay a $1 million buy-out. It’s hard to know what Minnesota’s rotation could look like next season. Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson are all under team control. Other top prospects like Fernando Romero and Stephen Gonsalves should be knocking on the door. There might not be room for Santana.
Is it time to start worrying about Santana? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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