Johan Santana to have Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery

The press conference is over, and both Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel have left the press room.

Update, 4:49 pm
by Michael Baron:

Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel are speaking now, and Santana has left the press room.

Minaya essentially said the following:

  • He expects Santana to be ok next season, based on the doctor’s reports, but the hole in the rotation was not something he expected to fulfill this winter.
  • He is not concerned with Santana’s long term health, and expects him to fulfill the final three years of his contract the same way he has fulfilled the first three years.
  • He doesn’t think Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery, and thinks it will be Altchek.
  • The prognosis for a full recovery is very good for Santana.

Update, 4:36 pm
by Michael Baron:

Johan Santana addressed the media, and essentially said the following:

  • There is no date set for the surgery, and they are awaiting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama, but Dr. Altcheck from the Hospital for Special Surgery is “in charge.”
  • He should be able to begin playing catch in January, but does not know his status for Opening Day, but the most important thing is he’s gets back to 100 percent, whenever that is.

Update, 4:01 pm:

Omar Minaya is getting ready to speak with reporters.

The press conference will air live on SNY.

In other words, buckle up…

Original Post at 3:45 pm:

Johan Santana will soon have season-ending surgery on his left shoulder, the Mets announced today in Citi Field.

The team press release is as follows:

“An MRI at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan yesterday revealed that Mets pitcher Johan Santana has suffered a tear of the anterior capsule of the left shoulder.  The injury is located on the front and bottom part of the shoulder close to the pectoral muscle, resulting in discomfort radiating through both the pectoral muscle and shoulder.  Santana will undergo surgery in the near future and we anticipate he will be able to resume throwing in the spring.”

He finishes this year 11–9 in 29 starts, with a 2.98 ERA in 179 innings.

He had season-ending surgery last year to remove bone chips from his left elbow.  He also had off-season surgery in 2008 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

This is more concerning than disappointing.  I mean, three straight seasons in which he needed surgery?  On one hand, better he get this all fixed in seasons that ended bad, than have something pop up during a pennant race.  But, at the same time, it’s a bit alarming that the health of the team’s ace will become such a question mark.

Also, as we all know too well at this point, they go in for one thing, and often find something else… and so, the real news will be when the surgery is done and the team can begin getting an idea of where he will be in his rehab come next February.

I get no sense the team intends to make a major pitching acquisition this off season, instead investing their money in to purging contracts… not acquiring new ones.  But, I can’t help and wonder if today’s news makes them re-think just how much they plan to relay on Santana, considering Mike Pelfrey’s ups-and-downs, Jon Niese’s inexperience, and RA Dickey’s age and track record.

Ugh… and so here goes a few more days of off-field debate about why Santana didn’t say anything sooner, who knew what and when, why, and what will happen next.