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BASEBALL NOTES

Johan Santana in doubt for opening day

The ace's elbow tightness leaves the Mets unsure about his status.

March 01, 2009|Associated Press

New York Mets ace Johan Santana says that his opening day start could be in jeopardy as he continues to battle tightness in his elbow.

"We have 162 games," Santana said Saturday. "What we have to accomplish takes 162 games. Everything starts April 6, if it's going to be me or somebody else. It's tough to say right now."

Santana met with Mets General Manager Omar Minaya and Manager Jerry Manuel for about 40 minutes Saturday morning to discuss a plan of action for his ailing elbow.

The left-hander said doctors have told him an irritated triceps tendon is causing the discomfort in his throwing elbow.

The Mets plan to have him throw a light bullpen session today to see how he responds, even though he said Saturday that he still has tightness in the elbow.

Baseball Classic

The Mariners told Adrian Beltre he can't play for his native Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic because he hasn't fully recovered from surgery last fall.

The Gold Glove third baseman said he was healthy enough to leave today and join the Dominican Republic team to train for its opening game in the tournament on March 7. But the Mariners disagreed, saying he isn't 100% after surgeries in September to repair a ligament in his left thumb and to remove bone spurs from his left, non-throwing shoulder.

Colorado outfielder Brad Hawpe will not play for Team USA because of a left finger injury.

Hawpe had four stitches on his pinkie finger after being spiked in the first inning against the Angels on Friday. He was accidentally stepped on while running back into second base in the first inning against the Angels. There is no damage to ligaments or tendons.

Injury report

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was scratched from the starting lineup for Saturday's game against Minnesota because of minor soreness and weakness in his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Braden Looper was scratched from his start against the Angels because of a tight abdominal muscle.

Signings

Kansas City agreed to a two-year contract with right-handed pitcher Juan Cruz that includes an option for 2011.

Cruz was 4-0 with a 2.61 earned-run average in 57 relief appearances last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He struck out 71 in 51 2/3 innings, while giving up 34 hits and walking 31. Cruz will get $2.25 million this season and $3.25 million in 2010. There is a club option of $4 million for 2011 with a $500,000 buyout.

Third baseman Corey Koskie and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to their spring training camp.

Koskie has been out of the majors since he sustained a concussion while playing for Milwaukee in 2006. But he says he is recovered and will play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

He will report to the Cubs' camp after Canada is finished playing in the WBC.

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