New York – Johan Santana is done again in September. It does not matter for the New York Mets now. They started to play out the string a month ago as their playoff chances continued to fade for one reason or another.
But once again, Santana, the ace will not finish the season. The two-time CY Young Award winner has been shut down after an MRI exam result showed a torn antenor on the front and bottom of his pitching shoulder. It was last September 1st when he was shut down to remove bone chips from his left elbow.
“I just hope to recover and hope this will be the end of it,” he said prior to the Mets 8-4 loss to the first place Phillies at Citi Field Friday night. “Get everything fixed,” he would say. But this was not what the Mets envisioned when GM Omar Minaya signed him to a six-year $137.5 million dollar contract.
It is baseball, the aspects of injuries and a definite risk when signing players to the long term and lucrative deal. However there is that definite opinion that the Mets organization is beset with a hex and not a miracle. All based of course on a recurring string of injuries, last season and now.
Santana again, Jose Reyes more than once, John Maine shut down, and of course the concussion symptoms that may or may not have ended the season for Jason Bay.
In the case of Santana, blame medical personnel of the Mets organization? Perhaps, or it is the case of a pitcher who had thrown too many innings in Minnesota before coming to New York. Whatever the reason, Santana is done and the Mets once again move on to next year.
“I feel he will fulfill those next three years,” said Minaya about the contract. He observed Santana speaking to the media at the pre game press conference. Again it is another dismal September for Minaya, the Mets and their fans at Citi Field.” Hopefully, we’ll have him back sooner than later,” said Minaya.
Santana will have surgery soon and hopes to recover by January. That may be pushing the button. He will get a second opinion from famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. But we should have known that there was more trouble for the Mets ace when he was lifted after five innings in Atlanta last week because of stiffness.
The Mets said later it was a strained pectoral muscle and Santana would be listed as day-to-day. Sounds familiar? Have we not heard and seen this before from Mets brass when it comes to the extent of an injury, more so to one of their high profiled players?
So in September again the Mets will show off their home grown talent on the field, and on the mound. In place of Santana is Dillon Gee who made his Major League debut down in Washington D.C. this week and flirted with a no-hitter.
Rookie pitcher Jenrry Mejia (0-4) failed once again to get his first Major League win Friday evening. He remains in the rotation, for the remainder of the string in the stretch of September. A lot to learn and minimal pressure without a pennant race to be concerned about.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he has no other options now that Santana has thrown his last pitch in 2010. “At this point we’ll see how he does,” he said about Mejia who observed there needs to be adjustments made when he faces a lineup the second time around.
And for the Mets, adjustments once again in September as they plan for next year with or without Santana on the mound.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]