Johan Santana has likely thrown his last pitch as New York Met — he has a probable re-tear of the anterior capsule of his pitching shoulder that would require another season-ending surgery.
“If this diagnosis proves to be correct, I think in all likelihood Johan will be lost to the Mets for the season,” Sandy Alderson said on Thursday after breaking the news.
Santana quietly flew to New York on Wednesday to have his weak shoulder examined. One doctor diagnosed the possible tear, and then an MRI on Thursday apparently confirmed it.
Johan Santana underwent surgery on the anterior capsule in September 2010 and missed the entire 2011 season. He came back strongly in 2012, including the no-hitter, which is growing more infamous by the day. But then he faltered, and combined with an ankle injury, the Mets shut him down in August.
It was speculated that the 134-pitch no-hitter put too much strain on his shoulder. But Alderson said no one knows for sure.
“We don’t know when it happened, how it happened,” Alderson said. “What we do know is that at some point, symptoms appeared, and they worsened, rather than improved. It’s possible Johan will be able to shed more light on that, but at this point we simply don’t know.”
If indeed Santana’s Mets career is over, for the $137.5 million they paid him, the Mets got 46 wins against 34 loses in 109 starts with an ERA of 3.18. He would have missed two full seasons, with three others ended early because of injury.
Johan Santana was dominant in his one full season, his first one with the Mets. He went 16-7 with a league-leading 2.53 ERA in 2008. He likely would have won 20 games and the Cy Young Award if the Mets bullpen did not blow several leads for him.
Santana was one of the fiercest competitors to ever wear a Mets uniform. It is sad to see it end this way.