Johan Santana will not pitch in 2013 for the New York Mets and might never pitch in the big leagues again. The Venezuelan born southpaw has another tear in his pitching shoulder. He would miss the entire 2011 season with the same injury.
Santana, who turned 34 earlier this month, is in the last year of a six year, $137.5 million contract. After winning two AL Cy Young Awards with the Minnesota Twins in 2004 and 2006, he was dealt to the Mets prior to the 2008 season. His first season with the Mets was good as he won 16 games and led the NL in games started, innings pitched and ERA. That was good enough to finish third in the NL Cy Young balloting. But since then, Santana has not been able to pitch 200 innings in a season.
But last season, Santana was briefly back in old form. On Memorial Day Weekend last year, I saw Santana throw a complete game, four hit shutout against the San Diego Padres at CitiField. In his very next start, Santana threw the first no hitter in Mets history.
But following the no-hitter, Santana lost seven of his final ten decisions finishing with a 6-9 record with a 4.85 ERA.
If Santana never pitches again he finishes with a career record of 139-78. Thrice he led the league in ERA (twice in the AL and once in the NL) and thrice he led the AL in strikeouts. Santana is twelve strikeouts shy of 2,000.
If Santana never pitches again I’m glad I got to see Santana pitch at his very best.