Maybe it is me, or am I piling on when it comes to Johan Santana’s shoulder injury which will require season-ending surgery?
After Santana was injured August 2, I would have expected him to have a MRI immediately and not wait a week before he tested it and found out the extent of the injury. Considering he’s the Mets’ most valuable pitching commodity, and how the team has handled injuries in the past, the MRI should have been performed matter-of-factly.
Sure, Santana said he was fine, but Ryan Church said he was fine, John Maine said he was fine, Jose Reyes said he was fine. Players will always say they are fine. That’s part of their competitive DNA, but where did Santana go to medical school?
Pectoral strains, the initial diagnosis, always take time to heal. They are like hamstrings in that regard. But, for the Mets to wait a week to test it without knowing for certainty what was wrong with his arm was taking an foolish risk.
We don’t know whether Santana testing the injury might have caused further damage. What I do remember is letting Jon Niese throw one more warm-up pitch when he was clearly ailing and then watching him collapse in a heap.
The first rule when it comes to pitcher’s injuries is to always assume the worst because of their fragile nature. Sure, MRI’s aren’t cheap, but they are worth it when it comes to protecting a talent such as Santana.
Do you recall how the Washington Nationals immediately shut down Stephen Strasburg when he had trouble warming up? Do you recall how the Florida Marlins shut down Josh Johnson and sent him for a MRI before making any conclusions?
Then, do you remember how Maine had trouble warming up but the Mets trotted him out there for five pitches? Dan Warthen called Maine a habitual liar when the pitcher said he was fine. Obviously, Warthen thought differently, but still sent Maine out to pitch.
Do you remember Church being diagnosed with a concussion, then sent on an airplane? That fiasco lasted for several weeks before Church was placed on the DL.
Do you remember, with the season long lost, reinserting Carlos Beltran, and then there was the subsequent dispute over his surgery over the winter? Surgery was contemplated at the time of the injury. Had it been performed at the time, there’s no telling how productive Beltran would be now.
Do you remember how switch-hitter Reyes couldn’t hit from the left side, but the Mets pushed the envelope and had him bat right-handed? Reyes was definitely not 100 percent, but there the Mets were, sending him out there.
This is now three surgeries in three years for Santana. Considering he had surgery last year, one would have thought an immediate MRI would have been a slam dunk.
I also remember after last season how Jeff Wilpon said how the Mets evaluate and treat injuries would be reviewed.
I remember a lot of things.
Santana said he’d start to play catch in January. How does he know that before surgery?
Remember, I say assume the worst about injuries. When they were saying Beltran would be back in June I wrote after the All-Star break. When they were saying Reyes would be out for a couple of days I wrote how he should be on the disabled list (last year and this year).
Santana says January. Don’t bet on before June.