Elbow Surgery Expected For Johan Santana

An article by posted on August 25, 2009

It saddens me to post this, but as was reported by Phil Hoops, Johan Santana will have an MRI on his ailing elbow on Tuesday. On Monday night, details started to emerge that Johan Santana and several other players are expecting the worst and that Santana will require season ending elbow surgery.

Marty Noble reports on Mets.com,

Mets players said Monday they expect Johan Santana will require surgery on his left elbow to repair whatever malady has prompted the club to scratch the pitcher from his scheduled start against the Marlins in Miami on Tuesday. Instead of making his 26th start, Santana is to have his elbow examined by Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek. And, if his teammates’ sense of the situation is right, his next start likely will be next season.

The Mets have known about this elbow pain since long before the All Star break in June, and even while the season was obviously a lost cause, they allowed Santana to continue to pitch. At no time did they do anything as logical as having him skip a start to see if the pain subsided . Instead they decided that he would not throw in between starts during his routine bullpen sessions, and that he would continue to take the mound every fifth day and throw 100 or more pitches.

They are not saying anything about the matter, and Mets trainers and doctors were prohibited from speaking to the media. No official statement was released to the press.

Santana, 30, is in the second year of a six-year, $137.5 million contract. He has a 13-9 record and 3.13 ERA in 25 starts and 166 2/3 innings. If he doesn’t start again this season, he will fall short of 33 starts and 219 innings for the first time since 2003. That also was the most recent season in which he didn’t win at least 15 games.

Mike Pelfrey said, “I don’t think anyone expects good news.” And Jeff Francoeur said he anticipates Santana will require surgery after speaking with the pitcher in the clubhouse Monday. Other players said Santana seems resigned to surgery.

It wasn’t until today when Johan begged out of his next start, that the Mets decided to finally send him for an MRI and an examination of his left elbow. Outrageous.

Jerry Manuel answered questions for reporters on Monday evening and said,

“He has not been throwing between starts for quite awhile. I would say since before the All-Star break. He has been pitching with this problem, but not with the level of discomfort he has now. I’m terribly concerned, no question about it.”

It looks like the Mets have once again have botched their handling of an injured player, only this time it has risen to epic proportions. While many of the injuries were no fault of the Mets, many of them were mishandled or misdiagnosed, which in turn led to longer periods on the disabled list for some players as well as several setbacks. This latest episode may end up being the worst one yet.

Expect more press conferences and lots of ducking for cover, but rest assured that Omar Minaya will remain the GM even in the face of yet another disastrous decision.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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