Danny Santana will take the next step in his rehab assignment this week, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced before Monday’s game against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Per Cora, Santana will continue his rehab with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Worcester after beginning the 2021 minor-league season with High-A Greenville.
“Danny is in Worcester now,” Cora said during his pregame media availability. “He’s doing protocol, the intake… He’s supposed to play Tuesday in Worcester.”
The WooSox will host the Syracuse Mets in their home opener at Polar Park on Tuesday afternoon. Santana is expected to be in Worcester’s starting lineup.
In three games with Greenville this past week, the 30-year-old went 4-for-10 with one double, one home run, and two RBI over 12 plate appearances. He played second base, shortstop, and centerfield in that brief stretch.
Santana originally signed a minor-league deal with the Sox back in March but missed an extended period of time in spring training due to a right foot infection that required a stay in the hospital. He also underwent an ulnar collateral ligament repair and augmentation procedure last September.
Before signing with Boston, the switch-hitter had spent the previous two seasons with the Texas Rangers, where he played every defensive position besides pitcher and catcher.
In 2019, he clubbed 28 home runs, collected 81 RBI, and stole 21 bases en route to being named the Rangers’ Player of the Year.
After being limited to just 15 games last year due to multiple stints on the injured list, Santana was non-tendered by Texas in November, which made him available for the Red Sox to sign in the first place.
The expectation seems to be that once Santana is fully ready to go, he will be added to the Sox’ major-league roster, which would also require him to be added to the cub’s 40-man roster.
Until then, how Santana performs with Worcester should be something to monitor these next few days/weeks.
As an added bonus, the WooSox’ home opener on Tuesday will be broadcast on NESN. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. eastern time.
(Picture of Danny Santana: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)