New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson has confirmed what most experts and fans were sure to happen either this week or in the very near future. Johan Santana will be shut down for the remainder of the 2012 season. At least for now. It was revealed Wednesday that Santana has inflammation surrounding the L5 vertebrae in his lower back after having an MRI on Tuesday. This at least avoids the back and forth questioning that has been following Santana since his return from a stint on the disabled list that evidently did the 33 year old pitcher no good.
Santana now leaves 2012 in the midst of one of the worst streaks for pitchers: At least 6ERs in his last five games which is one short of the MLB record set by Willie Blair in 1999. Not what you would expect from a lefty that had given the Mets their first no-hitter in their franchise history back on June 1st. The problem with going the distance while throwing 134 pitches in that game, was that it very well have been the straw that broke Santana’s back. There was no telling at the time what the extended throws would do to his surgically repaired shoulder.
Since that magical start, however, the Mets ace is only 3-7 while posting an 8.27ERA in 10 starts. The reality of the situation is that now Santana can now have a full offseason with normal prep time and hopefully join the Mets in spring training not only healthy, but ready for a full workload. This is the definitive decision that fans need to see from the Mets. With or without the MRI, I still believe that the Mets would have shut Santana down after his next start either way. Santana is a prideful pitcher that does not want to go out there and make his teammates look bad, and the team does not need anymore distractions as this season concludes its downward spiral.
Other Mets notes: Right hand pitcher Collin McHugh will start on Thursday against the Colorado Rockies after his promotion from Triple-A Buffalo. McHugh in 12 starts for the Bisons had posted a 2-4 record with a 3.39ERA.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, also in Buffalo will probably be shelved the rest of the year due to a partially torn plantar fascia that New York doctors told him to rest for a few weeks.
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