What If Johan Santana Is Done?
If you haven’t been tracking the former Twins pitcher over the past two seasons, you’ve missed out on the fall of what was once one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball. After suffering an achilles injury last season, Johan Santana is working towards another comeback this offseason, and next to nothing has come easy.
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The latest development came just about a week ago as Johan Santana was shut down for the remainder of the Venezuelan Winter League playoffs. After experiencing some shoulder soreness, the two-time Cy Young award winner saw his comeback derailed once again. Despite the shoulder responding relatively well initially, Santana was not allowed to pitch in the final game of the playoffs. If his comeback attempt is going to push forward, it will now come from a throwing session for major league teams.
As a former Twins player, and someone who would command very little in terms of a contact, Minnesota has made sure to monitor the progress. With that in mind however, it doesn’t appear that Santana is going to be resurfacing in Minneapolis any time soon.
Looking back at the career that was, Santana shows glimpses of greatness, and holes as to what could have been. Over the course of 12 major league seasons, Santana owns a 139-78 record with a 3.20 ERA. He has won two Cy Young awards and has been in the All-Star game four different times. After rising to stardom with the Twins, he was dealt to the Mets with Minnesota looking to cash in.
The Twins ended up getting next to no production in return for their prized starter, and the Mets ended up getting only three seasons out of Johan Santana prior to his career being derailed by injury.
Despite showing the ability to be one of the best pitchers in the major leagues when he was healthy, Johan Santana is now 35 years old and has not pitched at the major league level since 2012. It would appear that a resurfacing at the highest level would be an extreme long shot, whether that is with the Twins or not. Although Santana was trending in the right direction with the Orioles prior to the injury last season, his body has proven to break down on him far too often.
At this point, the best case scenario for the Twins remains a one day contract in which Johan Santana can leave baseball on his terms, and with the team that brought him onto the scene. Although it doesn’t appear that moment is imminent at this point soon, everything continues to trend in that direction.
Regardless of a career that could have been so much more, what Johan Santana has accomplished is nothing to look down on either.
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