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Johan Santana has “probable re-tear” of shoulder capsule, likely needs another surgery

Mar 28, 2013, 7:02 PM EDT

Johan Santana Getty Getty Images

Unfortunate news coming out of Mets’ camp.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said on a conference call this evening that Santana underwent an MRI in New York which revealed a “probable re-tear” of the anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Alderson called a second surgery “a strong possibility,” which would essentially rule him out for the entire 2013 season.

Santana previously had anterior capsule surgery in September of 2010 and didn’t make his way back to the majors until last April. Given the long road back from the first surgery, it’s possible that he has thrown his final pitch in the major leagues. Just in case it wasn’t obvious already, shoulder injuries are a drag.

Santana, 33, is owed $25.5 million this season while his $25 million club option for 2014 includes a $5.5 million buyout. As Alderson confirmed during the conference call, his contract is not insured.

  1. thebadguyswon - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Your move, Marlins.

    • dondada10 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Just wish we had let him go to the WBC. Then his money would’ve been covered by their insurance. Ellipsis.

    • tuberippin - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      The irony of this comment is that Johan Santana was once a Florida Marlin, for about a couple of hours on December 13, 1999.

      On that day, he started as a Houston Astro. Then, the Marlins picked him in the Rule 5 draft, and Houston let him go to the Marlins. The Marlins then proceeded (a couple hours later) to flip Johan to the Twins for a minor-league pitcher who never made it to the big leagues. The rest, much like Johan’s career, is history.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Tough news for the Mets and all baseball fans. If he’s finished, his artistry will be missed.

    • tuberippin - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      I’d be surprised if it wasn’t his last toss in the bigs. He already threw the first no-no in Mets history, and has earned $130mil just in on-the-field contracts.

      He led the league in WHIP four years running, was the unanimous AL Cy Young winner in 2004 and 2006, led the league in ERA three times, led the league in Ks and K/9 three consecutive years, won the 2006 AL pitching triple crown, was a four-time All-Star, and even won himself a Gold Glove in 2007 with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. He also pitched 219+ innings every year for five straight years.

      Unlike, say, Erik Bedard, who got injured just about the time he hit his peak, Johan had already had a fantastic resume by the time his injury happened. He’ll leave without ever getting a ring, but many a great player has done the same. Johan has nothing left to prove. He should take his money and ride off into the sunset.

      That said, and coming from a Phils fan, I will most definitely miss his pitching style. I can remember traveling to Minneapolis-St.Paul to see him start a game at the MetroDome. His changeup is one of the single greatest pitches I have had the pleasure to see in action.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Really crappy news, no matter what team you root for. If so, would be a lousy way to finish his Mets career.

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      would be lousy way to finish his career PERIOD.

  4. ame123 - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Wow that sucks. Guess the Mets wont be able to flip him for prospects like they did with Beltran and Dickey.

  5. millmannj - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Sad news. There will always be the question if the damage happened after throwing all those pitches during last season’s no-hitter. He wasn’t the same pitcher after that game.

    • js20011041 - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      I don’t think you can blame this injury on that game. I think that more than likely this injury came about because the first one weakened the shoulder. He was probably going to get hurt again regardless.

      • illegalblues - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        logic, i like it

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        Logically, if he never pitched the same after the no-hitter, than logically, it could have easily had something to do with this injury. Logically. Especially considering plenty of pitchers have had the same surgery and come back from it logically speaking.

        Logically, before the no-hitter, he had a 2.85 ERA and after the no-hitter, he had an 8.27 ERA. That’s just logically one stat…I didn’t feel like going through the rest because it would be illogical to think that just this one stat was purely because of some unlucky non-error calls that made his ERA go up 6+ runs.

        So yeah, I guess it’s illogical to think that throwing 134 pitches, which was 25% more pitches than he had thrown in one outing the entire season up until that point, could have logically contributed to the injury.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        Then I wonder who that guy was who pitched June 19th 6.0 IP 4 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 BB… or the one on June 30th who pitched 8.0 IP 3 H, 0 ER, 3 K, 2 BB. You know… AFTER the perfect game, but hey don’t let that pair of counter-examples ruin your logic.

        Considering that after the great June 30th game, Reed Johnson stepped on his foot while covering 1B, I could logically attribute every bad game after July 6th on his ankle injury.

        I attribute his lousy second half to a guy who ran out of gas coming back from surgery while suffering a series of ADDITIONAL injuries to his ankle and back.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        Quit fucking writing the word logically.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM

        Personally – I think the 134 pitches was a factor, but just one. We will never know to what extent, but sure, I imagine he would have re-injured even without that game.

        But as for how it will be rembered, consider this: 1986 Workd Series, Game 6, 9th inning. Bill Buckner did not give up 3 straight 2 out singles, and he did not wild pitch a run in , a pitch that also put Ray Kight at 2nd. And yet what dies everyone remember?

    • bigzant82 - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      i wondered that too?

  6. chill1184 - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    This sucks, Johan was such a great pitcher. Sad to see career ended this way. The contract not insured is another gift from the Minaya regime. Looking forward to the MSM trolls blaming the team or Alderson for this.

    • dondada10 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Chill, you ever visit the Scout board? Good stuff over there.

      • chill1184 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        No, link please

      • dondada10 - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        We’re like family over there.

  7. jhb64 - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    He should give back some money

    • Ben - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:48 PM


  8. butchhuskey - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Johan gave Mets fans two of the best memories of the last 5 years – his 3 hit shutout of the Marlins in 2008 to keep the team alive and the first no-hitter in team history. It’s too bad the injuries had to catch up to him.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      Glad you enjoyed the no-hitter because it’s the reason his production dropped and he got injured again. If you don’t believe that, just check the numbers before and after the no-no. They are eye-dropping.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        What’s also eye dropping is how you gloss over two of his excellent performances on June 19th and June 30th. Also how you gloss over the ankle injury he suffered on July 6th, after which he couldn’t properly land on the mound and completely lost his command. After that he was shut down in mid-August due to back inflammation.

      • cktai - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:06 AM

        Johan Santana up to and including 1 June:

        10 GS, 3-2, 2.38 ERA, 1.029 WHIP, 2.69 FIP*

        2 June up to and including 30 June:

        5 GS, 3-2. 3.60 ERA, 1.233 WHIP, 4.70 FIP

        small subset from 19 June up to and including 30 June

        3 GS, 2-1, 0.90 ETA, 0.950 WHIP, 3.30 FIP

        After 1 July:

        5 GS, 0-5, 15.63 ERA, 2.579 WHIP, 7.53 FIP

        So yeah, you could say that the no-hitter might have had a short-term effect as his two following starts were far from great. But Johan was recovering from that, as evident from his brilliant three starts just before his ankle injury on 6 July. After that, it went downhill very, very quickly.

      • cktai - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:07 AM

        ETA should be ERA ofcourse. And FIP is selfcalculated using the basic (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP+3 formula

      • ryanrockzzz - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:31 AM

        You’ve said that like three times on this blog as if it has to be true. Logically, if people are giving you evidence of good starts after the no-no, it seems to me that it’s not the certainty you have made it out to be. Could it be? Yes, it could be. The fact remains however that no one knows the answer, so how can anyone be 100% sure. Logically.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:06 AM

        Can we just get Chris to change his name to “post hoc ergo propter hoc”

      • Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        I changed it to something a little more logical.

  9. sdelmonte - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Ahhhhhh, crap.

    Can’t imagine he will be able to come back from this, alas. He was barely able to swing it the first time.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      He threw a no-hitter. All pitchers should be barely that good.

      • sdelmonte - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        That he managed to get himself back to that level for even a few weeks is a huge accomplishment. But I don’t think anyone was surprised to see it didn’t last. (And no, I don’t blame the no hitter for this. Just his body.)

      • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        All MLB pitchers have the ability to throw no hitters. They wouldn’t be in the Majors if they didn’t. Clemens never threw one and a lotta really average guys have.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        As cktai pointed out above – he was nasty for the first three months of the season. The no-no wasn’t a Philip Humber or Armando Galaraga effort, it fit in context with his entire beginning to the season.

  10. vallewho - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Hooray for guaranteed money.

  11. uyf1950 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    What a shame, such great promise and career shot to chit.

  12. Walk - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    I remember seeing him pitch with the twins and thinking he had the best stuff of any left hander I had ever seen personally. Some times when my team was pitching I would go to the concession stand but I really hated to miss players like him even when they are on opposing teams. He will be missed if this turns out to be the end.

  13. mybrunoblog - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    The Mets will have paid over $137 million for 46 wins as a Mets player. Beware long term contracts for pitchers my friends.

  14. largebill - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    I thought that “no-hitter” needed to be wrapped in scare quotes.

  15. mdev1987 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Yea bc the mets were contenders anyway. Santana hasn’t been good in 4 yrs. who cares

    • evanwins - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      Yeah, all baseball news from here on should only be about contenders and players who are currently doing really good.

      You all hear that? No more BS news about bad players or bad teams.

  16. kevinleaptrot - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    I think this is the same injury that Chien-Ming Wang had with the Yankees. This has to be the most expensive no hitter in the history of baseball. They let him through too many pitches on a cold night because they were desperate to get a no-no for the franchise. Now Santana is in danger of never pitching again. Who’s been more irresponsible with their star player: Mets w/Santana or Redskins w/RGIII?

    • chill1184 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Its cute how the trolls have started the MSM narratives early

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

        chill are you saying the no-hitter didn’t negatively affect his season and likely his health? Seriously? 2+ ERA before and 8+ ERA after and it had no effect? Wow. OK.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

        Once again: Great game, June 19th, 6.0 IP 0 ER. June 30th, 8.0 IP 0 ER. July 6th Ankle Injury, August, back inflammation. I guess in the “No-Hitter-caused-Santana’s-Demise” narrative those events never occurred.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:08 AM

        Obviously, how you can dismiss the no-hitter from causing his ankle injury a month later is beyond me.

    • chill1184 - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      @Chris Fiorentino

      Until someone actually provides proof that the No-Hitter is the sole reason for this, its just mindless speculation in hopes of creating a narrative.

      • thebadguyswon - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        Only idiots believe that. He wasn’t the same after he sprained his ankle a start or two later.

      • largebill - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        That is silly. It is impossible to trace, with any certainty, the exact cause of an injury like this one. I believe, this type is a wear and tear build up over time thing. Since he was coming back from a previous injury it is reasonable to say leaving him out for 134 pitches on a cold damp night was an asinine idea. This isn’t about hindsight. Many noted it that night.

  17. kollin7 - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Very upsetting news for all baseball fans if this means his career is over. Always loved watching Santana pitch. When I was younger, I was a left handed pitcher who was kind of known for having a really good change-up. Idolized Santana so much. Just happy that he was able to get his no-hitter. Mets fans: don’t be such sourpusses.

  18. kw27p - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    His mets career was a complete bust. Injured yes, but still a bust. He took the mets to the bank

  19. cackalackyank - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Well, he is under 35, and in otherwise good health, so it might not be over. I think it is premature to say “stick a fork in him, he’s done.” The question is whether there is a prognosis that could even make the Mets keep him and not take the buyout for ’14. I personally think his Mets career is over for sure. If the surgery goes well I am sure someone will give him a shot on a minor league deal for the back half of 2014. I am pretty sure that shoulder capsule is @ an 18 month rehab. (See Michael Pineda) He could pitch his way back to a series of one year deals or even a two year deal, and who knows maybe he still gets his ring then.

  20. Old Gator - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Hard to imagine how anyone looking at the record could discount the role of the no-hitter in exacerbating his shoulder problem. But that’s neither here no there. It’s not Santana’s fault that he was signed by an inept GM, nor that the Wilpoons consented to the deal – I mean, hell, look who they chose to manage their investments. No, the real issue here is that a terrific pitcher who had HOF stuff has been forced from the game and his extraordinary artistry will be missed.

  21. stabonerichard - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Tough news but Johan had a great run and now he can spend more time on the golf course, if ya know what I mean.

  22. aceshigh11 - Mar 29, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    What a raw deal. It’ll be really sad if this injury ends his career.

  23. Last Road Reviews - Mar 29, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Like someone posted he had some great starts after the no hitter. But everyone will blame this injury on that. Lets ignore his good starts after and also ignore the drop came after he hurt his ankle.

    This is a very serious injury that no pitcher had fully come back from. We’ll just blame it on the no hitter. As a Mets fan you won’t find many more people more critical of ownership than I am. Ownership is the main reason I’m
    Not as excited about baseball season.

    But this injury is serious and this would have happened no matter what.

  24. allday296 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Thanks 57, you were steel on the mound,not a bad return on Carlos Gomez and deolis guerra. thanks for the memories 9/27/08 a masterpiece, and the no-hitter, amazing for mets fans. If you hate you deserve the pathetic life you have. if people think,the mets were robbed just look at the expenditures across town. Not hating that side just looking for equal treatment, can’t stand all the biased stories about the yanks. Just because,They play there. Good luck NY just hate the Yankee fan who can’t understand why the twins didn’t,t give morneu to the yanks. They almost feel,like other teams owe it to them. I heard some guy on the radio today not understand that the other team needs to cooperate. He thought the yankees could dictate anything they want. Will the real fans stop the crying for an all star to fill n for arod or tex, just play like everybody else for a few. Thanks 57

  25. allday296 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    So glad ato see a great leave tj game, baseball

    Is not tj Sam without you

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