Minnesota Twins: SP Ervin Santana out for 10-12 weeks after surgery

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Ervin Santana
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Ervin Santana /

The Minnesota Twins were already looking a little thin in the starting rotation, after news of Ervin Santana having surgery how do things look now?

The Minnesota Twins had a starting pitching announcement today, but it wasn’t the type of announcement fans were hoping for. Starting pitcher and potential opening day starter Ervin Santana reportedly had to undergo surgery on the middle finger on his pitching hand. He reportedly began to feel discomfort as he began to ramp up his pitching preparation in advance of Spring Training. Below is a tweet with the official team release.

A few interesting things to note as we try to find some answers within that release. While Santana was the early favorite to start opening day as the roster stands. This injury obviously won’t allow that to happen any longer. Instead, Santana will be looking to begin his season somewhere in the range of the end of April or beginning of May.

This also isn’t the first time that this injury has popped up for Santana. It appears it has given him issues in the past making one wonder just when has this finger given him issues? Was Santana’s finger bothering him in that forgettable American League Wild Card game? It seems plausible that Santana may have been fighting the injury in that game and maybe even and earlier in 2017.

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This injury is the result of repeated use or overuse. The question that arises now is what might have to change in Santana’s approach, pre-game, or post-game routine in order to prevent this injury in the future. Then again, maybe it is something that just happens and a simple surgery will take care of it. The very good news out all of this is that Santana’s tendon does appear to be in good condition.

Thankfully for the Twins, this appears to be minor on the surface. With a starting rotation that already is full of question marks, there certainly still concern in a Santana-less rotation and if it sets the Twins up for a start more like 2016 than 2017. That sort of start all but buries any chances at the Twins reappearing in the playoffs and has to be of concern now for the club.

More prominently for Santana, this very well could have some major contract ramifications for the right-hander. If Santana is able to pitch 179 innings in 2018 he would have an option vest for $14 million. More importantly, if Santana can pitch like a 200 inning in a season pitcher with a performance similar to much of 2017 that $14 million is a pretty good contract for the Twins as well.

Next: Why Yu Darvish makes sense for the Twins

There were already questions about the Twins rotation and while Santana’s injury is hopefully only a blip on the radar it certainly doesn’t add in reassurance. Any Yu Darvish sightings lately?