Tag Archive | "Johan Santana"

Veteran pitcher Santana done for season with torn Achilles

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Veteran pitcher Santana done for season with torn Achilles

Posted on 06 June 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana saw his 2014 comeback attempt cruelly come to an end on Friday when the left-hander suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in Sarasota.

The 35-year-old was making his final extended spring training start and had been scheduled to join one of the Orioles’ minor-league affiliates before potentially being activated later this month. Santana was struck by a line drive on the backside and suffered the tear while stumbling, needing assistance as he walked off the field.

“Unfortunately, [with] the rehab, we didn’t get a chance to see it through to completion,” executive vice president of basball operations Dan Duquette said. “Unfortunate injury and incident for the team and for Johan. We wish Johan the best, but they’ll be some challenges in this recovery.”

Santana was signed during spring training as he attempted to make a comeback from two shoulder surgeries and had seen his velocity climb to the high 80s, making him a viable option in the eyes of the organization. Duquette confirmed the extent of the injury on Friday evening, stating that the Orioles would continue looking for starting pitching help after right-hander Miguel Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain earlier in the day.

Manager Buck Showalter acknowledged the possibility of using a six-man rotation when Santana was scheduled to be ready later this month and has since seen both Gonzalez and the former Minnesota Twins and New York Mets pitcher go down with injuries.

The Orioles will recall right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman to take Gonzalez’s place in the rotation on Saturday and will now lean more heavily on the 2012 first-round pick to be a difference-maker in the aftermath of the disappointing news about Santana.

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Is moving to a six-man rotation what’s best for the Orioles?

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Is moving to a six-man rotation what’s best for the Orioles?

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Luke Jones

Orioles manager Buck Showalter often quips how his best-laid plans and toughest decisions tend to be made by the baseball gods, making Wednesday’s news of starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez possibly going to the disabled list with a strained oblique unfortunate but also fitting.

The injury came just a day after Showalter acknowledged the possibility of moving to a six-man rotation with left-handed pitcher and former two-time American League Cy Young Award winnter Johan Santana slated to be ready to return to the major leagues later this month. Baltimore’s starting pitching ranks 12th in the AL in earned run average and 14th in innings pitched, but no one starter has struggled significantly more than the others in trying to decide who might be replaced by the 35-year-old Santana.

Traditionalists still pining for the days of a four-man rotation and the 1971 Orioles will scoff at the notion of using six starters, asking why Showalter and the organization would want to make such a change when they don’t even have five starters consistent enough for their liking. One of the biggest arguments against a six-man rotation is that it limits the amount of work for your best pitchers, but no Orioles starter has performed well enough so far this season to really have such a gripe.

Assuming Gonzalez’s potential trip to the DL isn’t a lengthy one, what are the benefits of using a six-man rotation when Santana is ready to be activated?

The fundamental change does reduce the average starter’s workload by just over five starts in the course of a 162-game schedule, but it also adds an extra day of recovery time, which is an interesting variable considering how often Showalter has tried to gain an extra day of rest for the likes of Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen over the last couple seasons. Never one to shy away from thinking outside of the box, Showalter could reason that a six-man staff might require tinkering with pitchers’ between-start regimens — perhaps each member of the rotation has a day in which he’s available in the bullpen to account for the lost roster spot — but could also result in fresher arms come September.

Would a schedule in which a pitcher works every sixth day allow him to throw 15 extra pitches per start or — more importantly — to simply be more effective and efficient when he takes the hill because he feels stronger?

With the alarming increase in Tommy John surgeries for major league pitchers this year, some have discussed the merits of using the six-man rotation to alleviate stress on the elbow while pointing to Japanese baseball’s significantly lower rate of Tommy John surgeries compared to the major leagues. In this era of increased specialization and the desire to protect pitching investments reaching nine figures, it only seems to be a matter of when — not if — clubs begin shifting to six-man rotations in the same way that the standard changed from four starters to five beginning in the 1970s. It has already started with some clubs occasionally moving to six-man rotations to protect young pitchers’ innings limits and is likely to trickle down to underwhelming rotations — like the Orioles’ current group — before ultimately becoming the standard around the major leagues at some point down the road.

Moving to a six-man rotation would allow Showalter to add Santana to the mix without relegating a current starter to the bullpen where he might struggle to get regular work. One of the more overlooked challenges for a pitcher can be the in-season shuffle between starting and relieving, which can put significant strain on the arm. Should Santana’s surgically-repaired left shoulder not hold up or he simply prove ineffective after not pitching since 2012, the Orioles could either transition back to a five-man rotation or look to add 2012 first-round pick Kevin Gausman to the starting mix, which would also quell concerns about his innings limit in 2014.

There’s no clear-cut answer as some pitchers such as Chen and Gonzalez have thrived with extra rest while Ubaldo Jimenez and Bud Norris have historically performed better working on four days’ rest. Perhaps a six-man rotation in which one or two starters take a higher priority in staying on turn would need to be designed, but Showalter’s mere acknowledgement of it being a possibility tells you the Orioles skipper has put extensive thought into it and has collected as much information as possible to make a potential decision.

Maybe we’ll see it or perhaps the baseball gods will intervene to prevent it from happening, but below is a look at the current starters’ results based on four, five, and six or more days of rest in their major league careers.

Chris Tillman
Four days: 4.47 ERA in 54 starts, 5.75 innings per start
Five days: 4.56 ERA in 18 starts, 5.59 innings per start
Six days or more: 3.82 ERA in 24 starts, 5.5 innings per start

Ubaldo Jimenez
Four days: 3.64 ERA in 131 starts, 6.23 innings per start
Five days: 4.31 ERA in 65 starts, 5.85 innings per start
Six days or more: 4.74 ERA in 27 starts, 5.42 innings per start

Bud Norris
Four days: 4.10 ERA in 65 starts, 5.81 innings per start
Five days: 4.49 ERA in 50 starts, 5.93 innings per start
Six days or more: 5.07 ERA in 21 starts, 5.49 innings per start

Wei-Yin Chen
Four days: 4.52 ERA in 30 starts, 5.84 innings per start
Five days: 3.89 ERA in 25 starts, 6.11 innings per start
Six days or more: 3.32 ERA in 11 starts, 5.91 innings per start

Miguel Gonzalez
Four days: 4.18 ERA in 25 starts, 6.12 innings per start
Five days: 2.77 ERA in 13 starts, 6.26 innings per start
Six days or more: 3.31 ERA in 14 starts, 5.83 innings per start

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Santana stays with Orioles, temporarily headed to DL

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Santana stays with Orioles, temporarily headed to DL

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Monday that they have selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Johan Santana from Triple-A Norfolk and placed him on the 15-day disabled list (recovering from left shoulder surgery).

Santana, 35, was signed to a minor league contract on March 4. A two-time Cy Young Award winner (2004 and ‘06), four-time All-Star (2005-07 and ’09) and a Gold Glove winner (2007), Santana is 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA (2025.2IP, 721ER) in 360 career games (284 starts) with the Twins and Mets since making his debut in 2000.

In five career playoff starts from 2003-06, Santana has posted a 2.93 ERA (27.2IP, 9ER). He has also made three scoreless All-Star Game appearances (3.0IP, H, 2BB, 3K; 2005-07). He is the second-winningest Venezuelan-born pitcher in baseball history behind Freddy Garcia (156) and 12 strikeouts shy of 2,000 for his career.

He will wear #57.

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Struggling Orioles reliever Hunter lands on DL with groin injury

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Struggling Orioles reliever Hunter lands on DL with groin injury

Posted on 22 May 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — A week after surrendering the closer job due to his early-season struggles, Orioles relief pitcher Tommy Hunter was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.

The right-hander said he suffered the strain while throwing prior to Wednesday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hunter was unavailable on Wednesday night and was replaced on the 25-man roster by right-hander Preston Guilmet, who had a brief stint with the Orioles earlier this month before being optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk on May 13.

“Anytime you do anything to move it around, it’s going to be sore,” Hunter said prior to Thursday’s series opener against the Cleveland Indians. “I shut it down as soon as it happened, so I went in and got treatment and showed up today.”

Hunter has a history of groin issues that dates back to his days with the Texas Rangers as the 27-year-old had a stint on the DL that lasted two months, but manager Buck Showalter is optimistic that the club was being proactive in shutting down the struggling reliever immediately to allow him to return quickly.

Named the Baltimore closer at the end of spring training, Hunter has a 6.06 earned run average and was 11-for-14 in converting save opportunities, but consecutive blown saves last week prompted Showalter to remove the hard-throwing pitcher from the role. Left-hander Zach Britton has converted the only situation the Orioles have had since Hunter blew a save against the Detroit Tigers on May 13.

It remains unclear whether the reliever will remain with the club for the next road trip or travel to Sarasota to continue treatment and rehab for the injury. Hunter made it known that the groin strain was not what was causing his struggles over the first two months of the season as he’s posted a 1.84 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) in 19 appearances spanning 16 1/3 innings.

“There is really no excuses for those [games], sorry,” Hunter said. “If that is what everyone is fishing for. I apologize.”

The 26-year-old Guilmet has appeared in two games for the Orioles this season, striking out three without allowing a run in 1 2/3 innings. Showalter was hopeful that Guilmet could provide some length out of the bullpen if necessary after Chris Tillman was knocked out in the second inning of Wednesday’s game at Pittsburgh.

Davis healthy and expecting

First baseman Chris Davis hopes to build on the momentum of Tuesday night’s three-homer performance in Pittsburgh and says the strained oblique that landed him on the 15-day DL in late April is no longer a factor as he tries to bounce back from a slow start to the 2014 season.

The 2013 All-Star selection quipped that his left elbow was hurting after being hit by a pitch on Wednesday, but his oblique has held up well since returning from the DL on May 11.

“The first couple of games I came back, I don’t want to say it was stiff, but it was almost like it was rusty,” Davis said. “I hadn’t done anything for a couple of weeks. But it hasn’t bothered me. There were a couple times this last series when I took some hard check swings, but stopping [my swing] was something that killed me. I didn’t feel it, so it’s good to know that it is behind me.”

Davis’ wife, Jill, is expecting the couple’s first child and is scheduled to be induced on Sunday morning, meaning the Orioles are planning for Davis to miss games on Sunday and Monday before rejoining the club in Milwaukee. Of course, that timetable would change if she goes into labor prior to then, and Davis will be placed on the paternity list, which allows a player to be removed from the roster for up to three days.

Infielders Jemile Weeks and Steve Lombardozzi are considered the prime candidates to take Davis’ place on the roster.

Santana making more progress

Veteran left-hander Johan Santana continues to impress in his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery as he threw 58 pitches in a four-inning outing in an extended spring training game.

Santana allowed one run on a home run and his velocity was once again in the upper 80s as his fastball was clocked as high as 90 miles per hour. Santana is expected to pitch in one more extended spring game before being assigned to pitch for an affiliate.

After signing the former two-time American League Cy Young Award winner in early March, the Orioles estimated that Santana would need until early June to continue rehabbing his surgically-repaired left shoulder, a timetable that appears to be very accurate as he continues making progress and increasing his velocity.

More baby news

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and his wife, Amy, welcomed a baby boy named Colt shortly after midnight on Thursday morning.

 

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Orioles sign former Cy Young winner Santana to minor-league deal

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Orioles sign former Cy Young winner Santana to minor-league deal

Posted on 03 March 2014 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Orioles came to an agreement on a minor-league deal with two-time former Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana on Tuesday.

The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training in Sarasota and is worth $3 million plus performance bonuses upon making the major league roster, according to CBS Sports insider Jon Heyman.

Santana is coming off a second shoulder surgery that cost him to miss the entire 2013 season. The Mets chose to buy him out after the season, making him a free agent.

Santana had previously missed the entire 2011 season and went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA for the New York Mets in 2012 between surgeries, including the first no-hitter in franchise history. Santana was brilliant from 2003-2008, winning the American League Cy Young Award twice with the Minnesota Twins and being named an All-Star four times in his career between the two teams.

For his career, Santana is 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.132 WHIP.

Originally signed by the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent in 1995, Santana was acquired by Minnesota via Florida at the 1999 Rule 5 Draft. He will wear No. 57 with the Orioles.

Rumors/reports of the deal began midday Monday when the lefty was spotted at the Birds’ Spring Training facility in Sarasota by multiple media outlets. Top pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez posted the following picture of himself with Santana on Instagram.

Santana recently threw for MLB scouts and reportedly topped out with a velocity of 81 MPH. Many believe he would not be available to pitch until well into the 2014 season.

A report from MLB.com suggested the O’s could view Santana as a left handed option out of the bullpen. The Birds have again been looking at reliever Brian Matusz as a starter during Spring Training and have no options left with fellow lefty Zach Britton. Additionally, lefty reliever Troy Patton will miss the first 25 games of the season after testing positive for a banned substance.

The Orioles recently acquired veteran starter Ubaldo Jimenez and Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon. The team was still in talks with free agent starter Ervin Santana as recently as last week.

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