R.I.P. Johan Santana's career
This is the second time Santana has had to get surgery like this, and the first time took 19 months of recovery.
At 34 years old, does Santana have that much time left?
Even if he somehow manages to make some sort of comeback, it's highly unlikely that we'll ever see him pitch the way he did from 2003-2008, when he was arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and never finished lower than 7th in Cy Young voting.
Santana was poised to become one of the all-time greats, if he could have stayed healthy. Instead, he went to the Mets.
Just kidding, it's not that simple. But Santana's career was on a Hall of Fame track before shoulder troubles sidelined him.
As for this injury, can we blame his latest woes on the no hitter that he threw back on June 1 of last year?
Santana made history, throwing the first no hitter in Mets franchise history. But he threw a career high 134 pitches.
In his next start, Santana gave up 4 home runs. He had a couple decent starts after that no hitter, but in the months of July and August, he gave up 33 runs (all earned) in 19 innings over 5 starts. For those of you keeping score at home, that's a 15.63 ERA.
After his August 17 start, he was shut down for the season. Now, he'll miss all of 2013, and possibly more.
Was the no hitter to blame? We'll never truly know, but it will be on the back of everyone's mind, and perhaps the tip of their tongue forever.
The worst part is that we've most likely completely missed what could have been the second half of an incredible career. Between 2003-08, he had a 98-42 record with a 2.85 ERA and an average of 226 strikeouts and 51 walks per year. In a highly offensive-driven era, those numbers are even more incredible than they sound. He had a 156 ERA+ in that span.
There's a case to be made that when healthy, he was the best pitcher in baseball.
Rest in pease, Johan Santana's career. You'll be greatly missed.