The Mets announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that Johan Santana “is not expected to pitch the rest of the season.”
The team said an MRI taken on Tuesday revealed inflammation in Santana’s lower back. Doctors said surgery will not be necessary; instead they have “prescribed rest and medication.”
Santana was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Collin McHugh was already on the taxi squad in preparation for this possibility. He is expected to make his major league debut Thursday afternoon against the Rockies.
Santana had been struggling recently, allowing six or more runs in each of his last five starts. That is nearly historically bad — the record is six consecutive starts.
Santana was cruising along to start the season — he had a 2.38 ERA after his June 1 no-hitter in which he threw 134 pitches, a number which could soon enter Mets infamy.
He struggled in all but three of his 10 starts afterwards, although Santana and the team continue to deny that the high pitch count played any role in his current health issues.
An ankle injury forced a DL stint after the All-Star break, and the back issue came up last week.
Santana finishes the season with record of 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts. He did manage to strike out 111 batters in 117 innings.