Santiago likely done for '17 with shoulder issue

Santiago likely done for '17 with shoulder issue

KANSAS CITY -- Twins left-hander Hector Santiago, who is on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to July 3 with a strained left shoulder, is likely out for the season, manager Paul Molitor said on Friday.

Santiago made his sixth rehab start with Triple-A Rochester on Sunday, but he struggled, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits and a walk. Santiago's fastball velocity ranged from 84-87 mph, and he's undergoing rehab and further testing in Minnesota with the Triple-A season over.

"I think it's more unlikely than likely," Molitor said of the chances of Santiago returning. "There has been some talk about trying to eliminate some other things that are causing him to feel ill effects. But I'm not sure what's solidified in terms of getting another opinion. The last couple times he pitched, he still had discomfort in the back of the neck and upper shoulder."

Santiago posted a 5.62 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 31 walks in 70 1/3 innings before the injury. He had a 5.32 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 17 walks in 23 2/3 innings as part of his rehab assignment with Rochester.

Santiago, 29, is set to be a free agent after the season. He has a career 4.00 ERA in seven Major League seasons, including a 5.61 ERA with the Twins since being acquired in the trade that sent Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer to the Angels on Aug. 1, 2016. Santiago saw his average fastball velocity dip from 91.4 mph last year to 90.7 mph this season.

Worth noting
• The Twins plan to skip fifth starter Aaron Slegers on Tuesday after Monday's off-day, which would give Kyle Gibson the start on Tuesday against the Padres, with Ervin Santana to start on Wednesday. But left-hander Adalberto Mejia could rejoin the rotation after making a rehab start with Double-A Chattanooga in the Southern League playoffs on Saturday. Bartolo Colon is currently lined up to start next Friday with the Twins celebrating "Big Sexy" night at Target Field, but Molitor said there's a chance Mejia returning could bump Colon back a day.

• Third baseman Miguel Sano, out since Aug. 19 with a stress reaction to his left shin, progressed to hitting in the cages and participated in running drills at Target Field on Friday. He's scheduled to take batting practice and some light infield drills on the field on Saturday.

• Hitting coach James Rowson left the team to join his family in Tampa with Hurricane Irma approaching. He's expected to return to Minnesota on Tuesday.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.