St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte probably will start the season on the disabled because of a mild muscle flexor strain in his pitching arm.
The Cardinals said Saturday that the right-hander had stopped throwing following the results of an MRI a day earlier.
Motte pitched an inning against the New York Mets on Thursday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., then told the team his forearm tightened up on the bus ride back to the Cardinals’ spring training complex.
“We’re certainly going to be as aggressive as we can with the rehab, but in terms of DL, I would say that’s likely going to happen,” General Manager John Mozeliak said.
Motte was 0-0 with one save and a 5.00 ERA in nine innings during spring training.
Setup man Mitchell Boggs will move into the closer’s role.
Pitcher in limbo
Johan Santana knows he won’t be pitching when the New York Mets start their season April 1. He doesn’t know when he’ll take the mound again.
The 34-year-old left-hander was scheduled to throw on flat ground from 90 feet Saturday, up from 60 feet a week ago. He’ll need to get up to about 180 feet before the Mets allow his first bullpen session since March 3.
“I’m making progress; I just don’t know when I’m going to be pitching again,” Santana said. “That’s the thing: We cannot think ahead. The way we’re approaching everything is every day make sure we have a good today, so tomorrow we’ll come back and we’ll do it again until we feel we can do this without any problems.”
The two-time Cy Young Award winner will miss the entire exhibition season because of a lack of arm strength and will start the season on the disabled list.
“It’s a slow process,” Santana said. “One day at a time, make sure that every day I feel better and make progress. That’s what I’m doing right now.”
Santana was examined by Dr. David Altchek earlier in spring training and was told his surgically repaired pitching shoulder is structurally sound.
Yankees sign Wang
The New York Yankees have brought back a familiar face, signing pitcher Chien-Ming Wang to a minor-league contract.
The Yankees said Wang would report right away to the minor-league complex.
Wang, who turns 33 later this month, was originally signed by the Yankees in 2000. He went 55-26 with them during five seasons, and was a 19-game winner in consecutive years.
Wang has been slowed by several injuries since then, starting when he injured his foot while running the bases in 2008.
The right-hander from Taiwan went 2-6 with a 6.68 ERA in 10 games with Washington last year. He spent the last three seasons with the Nationals.
Harper hurts hand
Bryce Harper was scratched from the Washington Nationals’ lineup because of swelling in his left hand.
Harper was scheduled to bat third and play left field against the New York Mets, but manager Davey Johnson told Harper on Saturday morning that he would not be playing.
Harper was jammed on a pitch by Drew Smyly of the Detroit Tigers on Friday, and Johnson took him out of the game after two at-bats.
Johnson says he’s not concerned about the swelling and expects Harper to be back in the lineup today when the Nationals play the Atlanta Braves.