Aug 24, 2009, 4:51 PM EDT
It simply had to happen. The Mets had already lost Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and plenty of others. Now perhaps the most valuable player of all has gone down: Johan Santana has been scratched from his start Tuesday because of a sore elbow.
According to manager Jerry Manuel after today’s loss, Santana has been having issues with the elbow since at least the All-Star break. He was no longer throwing on the side in between starts, which probably helped lead to his inconsistency on the mound. He was still 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA in seven second-half starts, so he certainly wasn’t bad. However, he had allowed at least nine hits in four of those outings.
Santana will be examined on Tuesday. Even a somewhat favorable diagnosis that would result in him being shut down for 10-14 days might as well end his season.
The Mets are without any quality alternatives for the rotation because of all of their injuries. Pat Misch, who bailed out Oliver Perez by pitching four innings Sunday, figures to be in the mix, though he won’t be able to start in Santana’s place tomorrow. Journeymen Nelson Figueroa and Elmer Dessens are other options to fill in. The one semi-intriguing youngster in Triple-A is 24-year-old Tobi Stoner, who has gone 5-7 with a 4.46 ERA, 76 H and 50/29 K/BB in 76 2/3 IP since moving up to Buffalo. He projects as more of a middle reliever, but he’d now seem to have a realistic chance of picking up some starts this year.
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