The Minnesota Twins had scouts in Venezuela last week monitoring Johan Santana’s first outing, he looked good across two innings of work, and the comeback appeared to be off the ground. Unfortunately, today we learned that the former Twin and Cy Young award winner has been shut down for the remainder of the Venezuelan league playoffs. So no what?
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Attempting a comeback with the Baltimore Orioles a season ago, Johan Santana tore his Achilles tendon and promptly was shelved for the remainder of the season. Now with shoulder discomfort, everything gets thrown up in the air again. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press has some nuggets on the latest injury that provide more clarity to the situation:
That unfortunately illustrates the tail about as well as it needs to be said. While things may have looked promising, the health record just screams stay away. There were reports that Johan had already been in discussion with one team in regards to a contract, but that looks to be a very distant memory at this point.
Sure, minor league deals are never going to break a major league teams bank, but the upside appears to be so limited with Johan Santana at this stage of his career, that even that scenario appears to be unlikely. In discussing the next steps with a fellow tweeter, Berardino quipped that a hat tip contract may be all the Twins have to offer the hurler.
As a fan, that’s something I can definitely get behind. Of course it would have been great to see him reclaim even a glimpse of the pitcher he once was, but at this point that doesn’t seem plausible. With the injuries mounting, and time against him, the best scenario may be to hang it up. It’s one thing to be able to compete for two and three inning stretches, but the highest level of baseball demands so much more.
Here’s to hoping that Johan’s career ends with him doing so on his terms, rather than the game taking it away from him. Come back to Minnesota, sign a one-day contract, retire a member of the Twins, and walk off into the sunset. It was a good run, that provided a lot of great memories. Unfortunately the struggles aren’t easy for Twins Territory to watch either.
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