It appears more and more likely that Johan Santana will be headed to the disabled list after the New York Mets again pushed back the schedule for their ace to make his spring training debut.
Santana didn’t pitch in the majors in 2011 following shoulder surgery, then went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts the following year, when he pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1 against St. Louis. The 33-year-old left-hander didn’t pitch after Aug. 17, 2012, because of lower back inflammation and did not throw much this offseason.
The Mets say he doesn’t have enough arm strength for exhibition games.
If Santana is put on the 15-day DL during spring training, the earliest he could be activated would be April 7.
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JETER SINGLES IN RETURN
New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter singled sharply to left field on his first pitch since breaking an ankle last fall in the American League Championship Series.
Jeter, who missed New York’s first 13 spring training games, was the Yankees’ designated hitter and leadoff batter Saturday against Atlanta. Jeter received a standing ovation from some in the crowd at Steinbrenner Field in the first inning, then singled between shortstop and third base against left-hander Mike Minor.
Jeter was forced at second base on former Mariners All-Star Ichiro Suzuki’s grounder, sliding into second base on a play that was not close.
The 38-year-old broke his left ankle lunging for a grounder against Detroit last Oct. 13 and had surgery a week later. He returned on the 147th day after the injury and wore protective gear on the foot.
MARKAKIS HELD BACK
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, who is dealing with neck spasms, was expected to play today, but the injury apparently flared up while he was playing with his kids on Thursday. The team will hold him out a little longer, but the injury is not considered serious.
Astros left-hander, and former Mariners starter, Eric Bedard (right glute) threw off the mound Saturday. He has not pitched since his spring debut on Feb. 2. … A’s closer Grant Balfour threw another bullpen session as he continues to recover from right knee surgery in February. … Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes threw 10 pitches in his first mound session since being diagnosed three weeks ago with a bulging disk in his upper back. … Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday missed the game Saturday against the split-squad Marlins, his third game in a row, because of a flulike virus. … Tigers right-hander Will Clinard and left-hander Matt Crouse were called up from the minors, one day after the club sent down pitchers Michael Morrison and Ryan Robowski.