There’s always something to be said for an athlete trying to make a comeback. No matter the outcome, you have to tip your cap to the athlete for trying to regain their prior form. Johan Santana is of course one of the most notable athletes attempting a comeback at current time — but the latest reports on his performance don’t sound so hot.
Santana recently held a workout, where seven teams were in attendance to watch him throw. One of those teams was the New York Yankees, represented by Tim Naehring. According to Naehring, Santana was barely able to break 80 MPH on the radar gun. His fastball topped out at 81 MPH, with the majority of his pitches coming in between 77-78.
However, Naehring did note that Santana was sporting an ‘impressive’ changeup.
So what are we to conclude from this report?
The most common conclusion people will draw, is that Santana is done. Unless he has plans to change into a knuckleball and changeup specialist, 81 MPH isn’t going to cut it in the big leagues.
It should also be noted that Santana is not gearing up for an opening day return. In fact, he’s about four months out from his target return time. The former Cy Young winner wants to return in June, presumably with a contending team.
The only thing on Santana’s side at this point is time. Is it possible that his fastball could be back into the upper 80s by June? Sure. Is it likely? No, not it’s not. 2014 could very well be the end for the once great lefty, unless he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve.