MLB notebook: Santana grateful to Orioles for giving him opportunity
Johan Santana is hoping the Orioles' patience with him pays off in another chance to pitch in the big leagues.
The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner was out of the majors last season while recuperating from surgery on his left shoulder. He signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract with the Orioles on Tuesday and worked out with them for the first time Wednesday.
Santana, 34, said he's not ready to pitch in the major leagues. Baltimore has set a target of June 1 for his arrival.
“As long as I don't feel anything in my arm, I'll be able to go out there. I know what to do. And again, you've got to make adjustments. There's no question about it. That's what I'm going to do. But right now, I don't really know what my velocity will be,” Santana said.
Royals' Hochevar out 2 months
Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar likely will miss at least the first two months of the season because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow. Hochevar was hurt Monday while pitching to Matt Davidson, his final batter during a two-inning outing against the White Sox.
Hochevar was 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA and two saves in 58 relief appearances last year.
Mets' Harvey still cashing in
Matt Harvey may not throw a single pitch this season, but he's already earned $60,000 in bonuses. The contract of the injured Mets star contains unusual provisions that reward him for 2013 accomplishments. Harvey earned a $10,000 bonus for making last year's All-Star team and $50,000 for finishing tied for fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting.
Hunter: Gator kiss was a crock
Torii Hunter claims he didn't actually kiss an alligator. The Detroit outfielder was featured in a viral photo that showed him puckering up next to the bounded mouth of a gator — but he told reporters he was just “on the backside of it” and there was no kiss.
Around the bases
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke threw off a mound for the first time since suffering a right calf strain six days ago. ... Left-hander Joe Saunders and the Rangers finalized a one-year contract for the $500,000 minimum. ... Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler was scratched from Wednesday's start against the Tigers because of a stiff neck.
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