Santana will undergo an MRI and remains uncertain
A long season has saddled Johan Santana with back pain, ankle discomfort and other maladies that he considers ordinary wear-and-tear for a starting pitcher. But examine them in the context of Santana’s road back from left shoulder surgery, without even mentioning his importance to the team, and it becomes obvious why the New York Mets are considering shutting him down for the season.
Even bearing that in mind that plan will not come into effect yet. The Mets expounded before Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Rockies that Santana should make his next start as scheduled on Thursday, with the team revisiting the idea of shutting him down at a later date. But that relies upon the results of an MRI on Santana’s lower back.
“At some point, there’s a diminishing return,” GM Sandy Alderson related. “It’s been a long year, a long offseason of rehab. Johan really has accomplished quite a bit during the course of this season and, at the proper time, we really have to think as much about next year as we do about this year.”
The catch is that whether or not healthy, Santana will be on a strict pitch count for Thursday’s start, prohibiting him from throwing 100 pitches as the Mets attempt to squeeze another few starts out of their former ace. Once registers expand on Sept. 1, it will be far easier for them to replace Santana in the rotation, so Alderson suggested that Santana will make “another start or two, minimum.”
But Santana has been experiencing back pain latterly, which could prevent him from pitching, at all.
“It’s going to be start to start,” manager Terry Collins said. “We’re going to have a look and certainly research where we are, what we are doing, what we’re getting out of it, what he’s getting out of it and make a continuing decision as we go.”
Santana opened the season on fire, going 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA over his first 11 starts and throwing a 134-pitch no-hitter June 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals. But since that game, he has gone 3-7 with an 8.27 ERA, passing time on the DL with a sprained right ankle and going 0-and-5 with a 15.63 ERA upon his return. This is his 1st season back from anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder, which he underwent in Sept. 2010.
He hasn’t yet had a top-notch start since June 30, a span of 5 starts, and he has not recorded more than 15 outs (5 full innings) once in that time, either. Santana’s 117 innings and 21 starts for the season may not look like much, but they aren’t necessarily simple for a 33-year-old who didn’t throw a pitch in 2011. Basketball Betting
The 2-time Cy Young award winner has one guaranteed year and at least $31 million remaining on his contract, giving the N.Y Mets incentive to keep him as healthy as possible heading into 2013.