Mets left-hander Johan Santana isn’t expected to pitch again this season, GM Sandy Alderson announced.
An MRI taken at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan made public that Santana has back inflammation. The 33-year-old left-hander will be put on the 15-day DL retroactive to August. 18, but he’s expected to be shut down for the rest of the year. Surgery won’t be required, Alderson recounted. Doctors have prescribed rest and medication and intermittent exercise.
“I’m very confident he’ll be back next season ready to go, hopefully in a stronger position coming into this season,” Alderson claimed. “If you look back at this season and what we fairly could’ve expected at the start of the year, he’s accomplished quite a lot.”
Santana’s back became an issue after it tightened up following a bullpen session on Monday. He had complained about reoccurring soreness in his back after making his last start Aug. 17 in Washington. Santana brought up the problem with the organization, prompting doctors to take a look.
“I do not believe it’s a disc, it’s inflammation in the area of (vertabra) L5,” Alderson claimed, adding there’s no concern with Santana’s shoulder or ankle. “That inflammation has led to some soreness, but again, I believe the most important thing is, the doctors have not advised surgery.”
Right-hander Collin McHugh was promoted from the minors and will start in Santana’s place. McHugh, 25, went 2-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Buffalo.
Since throwing a career-high 134-pitch no-hitter — the 1st one in franchise history — on June One, Santana is 3-7 with an 8.27 ERA in 10 starts. He has allowed at least 6 runs in each of his past 5 outings (0-5, 15.63 ERA).
“I don’t have any 2nd thoughts about the way that it was handled,” Alderson expounded of leaving Santana in the no-hitter instead of pulling him. “Obviously, it’s something that comes up. I believe the reason I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it is there’s nothing I am able to do about it. And No. 2, however, is that this is a back issue that was preceded by an ankle issue, neither of which pre-existed at the time of the no-hitter. This has not been a shoulder issue, so from that perspective, I just don’t see a direct correlation. Football scores
“As good an explanation as any is that this is a significant number of innings that he pitched during the course of the season following a season of no activity apart from rehab,” Alderson continued. “This may be a way that his body is telling him that it’s been a long time since the injury, thru the rehab and the amount of innings he’s pitched this year, and the body is starting to complain. But again, I believe it might be very hard to follow it back to the no-hitter.”
Santana, who missed all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery, is 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts (117 innings) for the Mets in 2012. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list in late July with a sprained right ankle.