Just a few days ago, Billy Brost told us that the Padres were among six teams pursuing two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. Santana, one of the top pitchers in baseball when healthy, has been injury-plagued the last four years, undergoing two shoulder surgeries and an operation on his Achilles’ tendon. But he is currently in Venezuela, playing in the Winter Leagues for the Magallanes Navigators. The left-hander pitched effectively in a game 10 days ago, throwing two perfect innings, retiring the six batters he faced on only 17 pitches.
Now, we hear that he has had a MRI on his shoulder, and that the shoulder is structurally sound.
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Apparently Santana, who was originally scheduled to pitch again on Thursday, experienced soreness in the shoulder after his last outing. According to the Associated Press, Santana’s agent, Peter Greenberg, indicated that Santana’s shoulder was fatigued, but that there is no structural damage. Santana is available to pitch in the Finals, which begin next week, according to Greenberg.
The league website states that Santana will throw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Friday. The team will see how he feels on Saturday, and then make a determination about whether or not to let Santana pitch in the Finals.
Santana’s last outing came after a several-hour rain delay. The pitcher was up and down several times in the bullpen before coming into the game, which may have increased the stress on his shoulder.
Santana was an absolutely dominant pitcher in his prime. Between 2004-2008, he finished in the top five in Cy Young voting in five consecutive years, winning the award in 2004 and 2006. He holds a 139-78 record with a 3.20 career ERA. But he has pitched in only 21 games in the majors since 2010 after suffering multiple injuries to his pitching shoulder. Last season, he suffered a tear in his Achilles’ while attempting a comeback with the Baltimore Orioles.
With Spring Training for baseball in the States starting in about a month, here’s hoping things go well for the talented Santana this week. It would be great to see him back in a major league uniform. Perhaps one with the word “Padres” across the chest?