Another day and with more Mets’ pitching news and naturally some of it being bad.
The club said Johan Santana underwent successful surgery on his left shoulder today, but failed to define “successful.’’ It is being able throw, much less pitch again, or the ability to raise his arm over his shoulder?
In addition, free-agent Shaun Marcum – who didn’t endear himself to the Mets for not being in shape during spring training – was scratched from today’s simulation game after expressing neck pain as he warmed up and won’t pitch this weekend against Miami.
Obviously, he is the Mets’ most immediate concern because Santana’s career is over, while the club hopes Marcum will pitch for them.
The Mets placed Marcum on the disabled list retroactive to March 22. Marcum had been sidelined with shoulder and neck pain and took a cortisone injection that obviously hasn’t helped.
Marcum was signed to a one-year, $4-million deal – with up to another $4 million in incentives – but didn’t report in shape and tried to convince manager Terry Collins he only needed three starts in spring training to get ready for the season.
This was notably concerning because Marcum has an injury history, which makes one wonder why the Mets pursued him in the first place.
Normally, a starter gets six starts and up to 30 innings, but Marcum made only three for 9.2 innings. So, one game into the season and the Mets are already scrambling for another starter. The primary candidates are Aaron Laffey and Collin McHugh of Triple-A Las Vegas.
There is also the possibility of signing a free-agent such as former Met Chris Young.
Whatever the Mets choose, they’ll need to do something quickly because there is no timetable for Marcum’s return.
Ironically, Young is also coming back from the same surgery as Santana’s, to repair a tear in the anterior capsule.
For Santana, it will be his second such surgery in 31 months. His first surgery came in September of 2010, and it took him 19 months to get onto the mound for the start of last season.
The abuse of Santana’s shoulder includes not only his 134-pitch no-hitter last June and anger-fueled mound session March 3, but also several arm injuries plus all those innings with Minnesota.
While Santana will not throw a pitch in his last year with the franchise, the Mets will still be on the hook for $31 million, including a $5.5 million buyout. The contract is not covered by insurance.