Johan Santana may never again throw a pitch in the major leagues. Nevertheless, for the second time in his illustrious career, the New York Mets’ left-hander has chosen to undergo major shoulder surgery in hopes of beating the odds by returning to the pitcher’s mound.
Santana, 34, will undergo the procedure on Tuesday in New York with team doctor David Altchek.
Mets captain David Wright said he was “not at all” surprised by the decision. “I’ve known Johan long enough to know that I don’t think that he’d want to go out like that. He’s going to probably work just as hard, if not — if it’s possible — work harder to come back from this. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if I see him pitch again.”
Though people close to Santana indicated that he was leaning toward surgery, the pitcher was expected to use the weekend to decide on his future.
But just two days after the club revealed another tear in the anterior capsule of Santana’s left shoulder, the two-time Cy Young Award winner elected to attempt the procedure despite what promises to be a grueling rehab.
His first surgery in Septemb er of 2010 cost him 19 months, and the second procedure will likely require about the same time.
The Mets owe Santana $31 million, though he has likely thrown his last pitch for the franchise. He is in the final year of his contract.
Around the leagues
The Houston Astros will make their move to the American League official after 50 years in the National League when they open the season against the Texas Rangers tonight. ... The Philadelphia Phillies’ Humberto Quintero beat out Steven Lerud for the backup catcher’s job, and left-hander Raul Valdes secured the final spot in a three-lefty bullpen. ... The Baltimore Orioles reassigned first baseman Conor Jackson, left-hander Mark Hendrickson and right-hander Jair Jurrjens to minor-league camp. ... The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned left-hander Joe Paterson and outfielder Tony Campana to Triple-A Reno. The team reassigned right-hander Nelson Figueroa and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch to minor-league camp .... The San Francisco Giants added infielder Nick Noonan to their roster and optioned outfielder Francisco Peguero and right-hander Jean Machi to Fresno. ... The Orioles are expected to place infielder Wilson Betemit (right knee), right-hander Steve Johnson (back) and left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada on the disabled list today. ... The Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Luke Scott (strained right calf) could return in two weeks. ... The Astros placed reliever Alex White (right elbow strain) on the 60-day disabled list and outfielder Fernando Martinez (oblique strain) on the 15-day disabled list. The Astros recalled reliever Edgar Gonzalez and outfielder J.D. Martinez from Triple-A Oklahoma City.