The Texas Rangers are hoping that utility man Danny Santana can avoid the 10-day injured list after getting beaned Saturday in the right ankle in the ninth inning.
Santana took a 96 mph fastball from St. Louis Cardinals reliever Carlos Martinez and needed help getting off the field. Manager Chris Woodward said that Santana was better than expected Sunday morning, but will likely be unavailable until Tuesday.
That means the Rangers will have a two-man bench, which could force catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa to play infield for the first time this season. Shin-Soo Choo would likely be the backup center fielder, a role Santana has been filling since Delino DeShields was sent to Triple A Nashville on May 8.
“We’ll see how sore it is, but no broken bones considering how hard that pitch was right off the ankle,” Woodward said. “He got lucky. We got lucky. Hopefully he’ll just be out for a couple days. After that it’s hard to go with a two-man bench.”
Shawn Kelley threw live batting practice Sunday and could come off the IL as soon as Monday as the Rangers open a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.
The right-hander revealed Saturday that he had lumps removed from his throat Thursday and is awaiting the results of a biopsy. He has thrown three times since going on the IL.
“It would be nice to get him back,” Woodward said.”
Shortstop Elvis Andrus continues to do all baseball activities on his strained right hamstring except for running, but he has no doubt that he will be reinstated from the IL on Saturday. That’s the second-game of the Rangers’ six-game road trip to Anaheim and Seattle.
That road trip could also mark the beginning of Edinson Volquez’s comeback from an elbow injury suffered in his second start of the season at Anaheim. The right-hander said that the injury was to a muscle, not ulnar collateral ligament, and an MRI on Thursday showed that it is 95 percent healed.
The tentative schedule calls for him to play catch Friday. If he is able to return this season, it would be as a reliever.