As most Twins fans are probably aware, 2017 All Star pitcher Ervin Santana had surgery on his middle finger over the offseason. The surgery was to correct an issue that was apparently the sort of general “wear and tear” kinda that had been bothering Santana for awhile, not an acute injury. Recovery of the surgery kept Santana on the DL up until late July of this year.
Bad news: it appears the finger injury is still lingering. The Twins placed Santana back on the 10-day DL today explicitly due to the finger. The press release literally reads: “reoccurring symptoms related to his original injury to his third finger MCP joint on his right hand.”
Santana only made five starts since coming off the DL, and he wasn’t that impressive. Over 24.2 innings, Santana gave up 22 runs, and I’m not even going to tell you what kinda of ERA that makes for because it’s bad. He also walked 9 guys. No bueno.
What does this mean for Santana’s future? It’s hard to say. Since I’m not a doctor and don’t even personally know Santana or his hand, I can’t say if he will return before the end of the year. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press does, however, have direct access to Ervin Santana and got him to say this:
It doesn’t sound too serious, but again — I’m not a doctor.
The Twins have a $14 million option for Santana next season, but it’s hard to imagine they will pick it up at this point. Though the free agent for starting pitchers doesn’t look to be strong next winter, the Twins were able to sign Lance Lynn on a one-year, $12 million deal last winter in a similarly slim starting pitching market. Santana will also be 36 years old next season, which isn’t exactly helping his case.
The Twins owe Santana a $1 million buyout if they decline his option.
Santana was schedule to pitch for the Twins on Monday against the White Sox, but it sounds like young lefty Stephen Gonsalves will be making his major league debut instead. Curiously, Gonsalves did not take Santana’s spot on the roster, and will still need to be officially added before Monday. Instead, the Twins activated Robbie Grossman from the DL, recalled Alan Busenitz, and sent Johnny Field down to Triple-A.