BRADENTON, Fla. - Johan Santana isn't ready to pitch for the Baltimore Orioles yet. He may not be until early June.
Santana's signing last week added another big name to the Orioles. Since the start of spring training, they've brought on South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon, Ubaldo Jimenez, Nelson Cruz, and now Santana.
In 11 major league seasons, Santana is 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA. He last pitched in the major leagues in 2012. He missed last season after his second left shoulder surgery.
He never contemplated retirement, the soon-to-be 35-year-old said.
"I never thought about it, but it was there. But I was told by the doctor the surgery was successful, and it was going to be up to me to come back, and that's all I needed to hear," Santana said. "He told me it's not about being a tough surgery or whatever, it's just about how you're going to handle it, and how much you put into it, and I really have worked hard to be up to this point, and I'm not done yet.
"I don't want to go out in the game like that. I want to go out of the game on my own terms, knowing this is going to be my last game, knowing this is going to be my last year, and not just not knowing maybe that my last game was my last one."
Santana's signing was widely known thanks to a photo posted on Instagram by rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who idolized Santana as a young Venezuelan.
The two posed in Baltimore's clubhouse, and Santana is eager to help him, and others.
"This is a team thing, and you know, you've got some good guys, good arms, and you've just got to take it through the whole process and get experience, and I'll be happy to share everything I know," Santana said.
He's happy to be with a team in the tough AL East.
"This team is going to contend. And I am going to prepare to try to help as much as I can in any way. So whenever it is time for me to join the team I'm going to help as much as I can and hopefully it will be sometime soon," Santana said.
HOT TEAM: The Orioles won their seventh straight Monday. Their 9-2 record leads the Grapefruit League.
The 7-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates before 6,282 at McKechnie Field came despite a struggling likely Opening Day starter Chris Tillman.
In his third spring start, Tillman allowed five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked none. Tillman hoped to finish four innings, but he exceeded his pitch count.
"I just got to get myself ready. I'm going based off feel now. And as long as I feel like I executed the pitch well, physically felt well, that's all that really matters," Tillman said. "I feel great and I think that's all that matters right now."
Steve Clevenger, Steve Pearce and Michael Almanzar each homered.
OUCH: Xavier Paul was hit by a pitch on his right hand in the fifth inning. He'll be X-rayed in Sarasota. Alexi Casilla's right hamstring is healed. Showalter hopes he plays Tuesday.
LEAVING CAMP: The Orioles optioned right-handed pitcher Tim Berry and catcher Michael Ohlman to Double-A Bowie. They reassigned catcher Brian Ward to minor league camp. They have 53 players in camp with more cuts coming Tuesday.
COMING UP: The Orioles host Boston Tuesday. Miguel Gonzalez will pitch for Baltimore. Allan Webster, Alex Wilson, Brayan Villarreal, Francisco Cordero, Miguel Celestino, Noe Ramirez and Tommy Layne are scheduled for the Red Sox.
- Major League Baseball
- Johan Santana
- Chris Tillman
- Spring Training
- Miguel Gonzalez
- Steve Clevenger
- Alex Wilson
- Francisco Cordero
- Xavier Paul
- Grapefruit League
- Boston Red Sox
- Brayan Villarreal
- Steve Pearce
- Ubaldo Jimenez
- Alexi Casilla
- Nelson Cruz
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- American League East