KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) The Atlanta Braves agreed Wednesday on a one-year contract with right-hander Ervin Santana, bolstering their injury plagued starting rotation.
The 33-year-old Santana went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals last season and should make an immediate impact with the battered Braves, who are facing the prospect of opening the season with Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor on the disabled list.
Medlen, who had been named as Atlanta's opening-day starter, left a spring training start on Sunday after grabbing his right elbow. Initial tests showed ligament damage, and he is undergoing further examination to determine if he needs surgery for the second time in less than four years.
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels felt encouraged Wednesday following his first bullpen session since March 1.
The left-hander entered spring training behind other Phillies pitchers after biceps tendinitis in November. Since he's roughly a month behind the other members of the Phillies staff, Hamels is likely to begin the season on the disabled list and could miss the majority of April.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Infielder Brett Wallace was given his unconditional release by the Houston Astros on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old played with the Astros for four years, mostly at first base and also at third base. He played in 79 games last season, batting .221 with 13 home runs. In eight games this spring training, Wallace hit .143 (2 for 14) with eight strikeouts.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Braves pitcher Kris Medlen has injured a ligament in his right elbow for the second time in less than four years, and Atlanta says it is too early to determine the extent of the damage.
Medlen had an MRI on Monday that revealed the injury, according to general manager Frank Wren.
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) Jon Niese struggled in his first spring start that was delayed by shoulder trouble, allowing four runs in two innings of the New York Mets' 9-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.
The Mets' opening-day starter last season, Niese pitched until June before being sidelined by a partially torn rotator cuff. He returned in August, going 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA the rest of the way. The left-hander allowed six hits and walked two Tuesday.
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) David Price struck out eight in five innings and Yunel Escobar and David DeJesus drove in runs off Ricky Nolasco, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 on Tuesday.
Price allowed one run and three hits in his second start, surrendering a solo homer to Jason Kubel leading off the second inning.