So it appears the obituaries for Johan Santana’s career were premature — Santana is vowing to pitch again. Of course, it almost certainly will not be with the Mets.
ESPNNewYork.com reports that Santana is leaning towards a second surgery to repair the anterior capsule of his pitching shoulder. A “source familiar with his thinking” said Santana does not want to end his career with an injury.
Tim Byrdak, who is recovering from the same surgery, said he couldn’t imagine going through it again.
“You know you’re going into an operating room, and coming out you won’t be able to use that left arm for a month, maybe six weeks. You can’t put a shirt on. You can’t use it,” Byrdak said. “You don’t sleep much the first two months, because you’re in a brace that locks it in a place.
“To go through it a second time, I think it would actually be harder because you know what’s ahead. The first time you go through it, it’s kind of a mystery, so you’re not knowing what to expect. The second time you know your checkpoints, going, ‘OK, this is where we’re at.’ Knowing the end result, how far away it is, it’s really rough.”
To replace Johan Santana in the rotation, Sandy Alderson said he will do — get ready for it — nothing. Alderson acknowledged that the Mets pitching corps is “not terribly deep,” but that he “probably” won’t acquire another starter. Did you really expect anything else from Stand Pat Sandy?
Alderson also said there is no evidence that Santana’s epic 134-pitch no-hitter had anything to do with his injury, saying there is “little to suggest it had to do with the no-hitter. He continued to pitch. He was symptom-free for a period of time thereafter.”
Pitching coach Dan Warthen agreed.
“This is not a byproduct of the no-hitter,” Warthen said. “At least I don’t feel it was in any way, shape or form — because he had good velocity and arm strength after that. And it doesn’t matter, because he would have never let us get him out of the game anyway.”
We’ll likely never know when the tear occurred. Maybe it was the no-hitter, maybe Santana had to change his delivery to compensate for his ankle injury, maybe it was his bullpen session for the media this spring after Alderson said Johan Santana did not report in “pitching shape.”
In the end, it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that a weak Mets team just got far weaker.