Johan Santana is not going to pitch for the Mets this year.
Not only would it make no sense whatsoever to put him in a big league situation in what will be a meaningless cause, but he’s clearly going to take longer to recover from shoulder surgery than indicated in the best-case-scenarios and repeated movement of the goalposts the organization has perpetrated on the fan base and media in the interests of giving “hope”.
After pitching in a Class A game last week, Johan Santana suffered a setback in his rehabilitation.
Well, it’s being framed as a “setback”, but is it really? Or is it a “setback” in name and perception only as told by the Mets?
Given the slow and non-existent recovery times of other pitchers like Chien-Ming Wang and Brandon Webb who’ve had the procedure done, this isn’t and shouldn’t be unexpected. The Mets were using verbal sleight-of-hand to give a false belief that perhaps Santana would be ready by the early summer; then the All-Star break; then late August; now he’s going to the doctor and, in the words of GM Sandy Alderson, “It will either be reassuring, or we’ll step back to see where we are.”
Much like the phantom idea of the 2011 Mets in a race for the Wild Card, the plan to see Santana pitch in the big leagues this season is a fantasy. It’s not going to happen.
Hopefully the discomfort is something minor and normal; but he might have another problem somewhere. We don’t know and won’t know until he’s examined.
But the notion of Santana emerging from the disabled list to heroically help the Mets in their quest for an unlikely playoff spot was of a similarly fictional tale that had them in contention for that playoff spot to begin with.
It’s not real. Accept it and move on. Let Santana rehab at his own pace without dictates and “we need him” entreaties that will do more harm than good. The actual best-case-scenario is that Santana is ready for spring training 2012…or it might be that he’s able to pitch at all. Period.