Santana likely to miss season with torn shoulder

Johan Santana’s left shoulder has failed him again. Now the two-time pitcher of the year must decide if he has the stomach for another grueling comeback.

By (AP)

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Published: Sat 30 Mar 2013, 8:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:10 PM

After all that arduous rehab work, all those long hours in the training room and on back fields in lonely Florida, Santana probably will have to endure it all again if he wants to resume his Major League Baseball career.

Even then, a successful return is not certain.

Either way, he may have thrown his final pitch for the New York Mets.

The team said on Thursday that the double Cy Young Award winner probably has re-torn the anterior capsule in his left shoulder and likely will need a second operation that would sideline him for the entire season. Santana missed 2011 following his first shoulder surgery.

“I am not a doctor, nor am I a medical historian, but these injuries are very difficult to recover from after one surgery, and I’m not sure what the history is of recovery from a second more or less identical surgery,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.

New York owes the 34-year-old Venezuelan left-hander $31 million more as part of the $137.5 million, six-year deal he signed before the 2008 season, and Alderson said the remainder of the contract is not covered by insurance.

Santana had surgery in September 2010, and did not make it back to the majors until last April. He went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts last year and threw the first no-hitter in franchise history on June 1 against St. Louis.

Santana threw a career-high 134 pitches that night in his second consecutive shutout, but was 3-7 with an 8.27 ERA after that, including 0-5 with a 15.63 ERA after throwing eight scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 30.

He went on the disabled list for three weeks because of a sprained ankle and didn’t pitch after Aug. 17 because of lower back inflammation.

Santana hasn’t pitched in any exhibition games during spring training because of arm weakness, and he threw his last bullpen session in early March without the team’s permission. If healthy, he would have started the season opener on Monday against San Diego.

“We don’t know when it happened, how it happened,” Alderson said. “But what we do know is that at some point symptoms appeared and they worsened rather than improved.”

Peter Greenberg, the pitcher’s agent, said Santana didn’t have any comment yet.

“A second surgery is a strong possibility,” Alderson said. “If this diagnosis proves to be correct, I think in all likelihood Johan will be lost to the Mets for the season.”

Santana is 45-34 with a 3.18 ERA for the Mets after going 93-44 with a 3.22 ERA in eight years with the Minnesota Twins. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006.



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