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Ervin Santana to open year on disabled list

March 8, 2009 | 10:39 am

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ervin Santana's elbow injury is worse than originally feared, and Manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged today that the right-hander probably won't be ready for the start of the season.

Santana, who signed a four-year, $30-million contract on the first day of camp, experienced tightness in his elbow after throwing one inning in last Tuesday's intra-squad game. He underwent an MRI test, the results of which were not yet available, but the discomfort was significant enough for the Angels to shut him down.

"We don't anticipate it will be something that will set him back for an appreciable part of the season, but we're going to take it slow," Scioscia said. "We're going to get a better read as we move along, but from where we are now to the start of the season, it's going to be a stretch" to think Santana will be ready for the April 6 season opener.

Santana, who went 16-7 with a 3.49 earned-run average and made the All-Star team last season, threw six innings of winter ball in the Dominican Republic. In response to several questions about his elbow this morning, he insisted, "Everything is good."

Everything is not good, though. Santana is not scheduled to even begin playing catch until later this week, and it will take several weeks for him to build up the arm strength required to join the Angels' rotation.

Santana's injury means that Dustin Moseley, Shane Loux and Nick Adenhart, who were originally competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, are now competing for the final two spots in the rotation.

For the latest details on Santana's injury, go to our full updated story.

-- Mike DiGiovanna