Santana has given up 19 earned runs in his last three starts and in the eight starts since he threw a career-high 134 pitches in a no-hitter on June 1, Santana has compiled a 6.54 ERA and allowed 11 homers in 42 2/3 innings.
Santana has averaged just 5 1/3 innings in his eight starts since throwing 134 pitches in a no-hitter on June 1. He’s allowing 11.2 hits and 2.3 HR per 9 IP.
Santana Since No-Hitter on June 1
The Mets believe the injury has caused Santana’s surgically repaired shoulder to become fatigued, and he needs to rest and build up arm strength.
“Ever since the ankle injury, basically he’s lost his command,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We don’t think he can land properly … he is using all arm to pitch with, causing some fatigue in his shoulder, (but) no pain. There’s just nothing there. So we’re gonna disable him and get him some rest. Let the ankle heal and rebuild the arm strength back a little bit.”
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson doesn’t think Santana will be back until the team completes an 11-game West Coast road trip on Aug. 5.
Santana, who missed all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery, has thrown 110 2/3 innings.
“Johan I think is exhibiting the effects of 100 innings and a sore ankle for the last couple of starts,” Alderson said. “We think that the ankle injury may have led to some general fatigue. In light of the surgery and where he’s been and what he’s accomplished, we’ve gotten to the point where he needs to get that ankle right and get back to the point where he feels confident about pitching.”
Santana tried to talk management and the training staff into letting him stay in the rotation.
“He wanted to pitch. Last night when the game was over and I talked to him, he did admit that he did feel his ankle at certain times,” Collins said. “But the one thing he realized was, he threw some pitches last night and it was all arm, and that started to concern me.”
Alderson dismissed the possibility that the no-hitter had a negative effect on Santana.
“I don’t think so. I think it has more to do with the ankle than the no hitter,” the Mets GM said.
Alderson doesn’t think there’s anything structurally damaged with Santana.
“We think that he will resume a strength and cardio program,” Alderson said. “He’ll do long-tossing and have the doctors take another look at the shoulder, but we don’t think that’s an issue.”
Looking for more information on the Mets? ESPNNewYork.com has you covered. Blog
Santana’s next scheduled start was supposed to be on Wednesday afternoon against flame-throwing right-hander Stephen Strasburg.
Right-hander Jeremy Hefner, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Santana on the roster, is a candidate to make that start. Highly touted prospect Matt Harvey is another option, but he is scheduled to start Saturday night for Triple-A Buffalo, which makes it unlikely he’d go Wednesday.
“Certainly he would be a possibility,” Alderson said of Harvey.
Alderson was noncommittal when asked how Santana’s injury would the team’s approach to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
“This in it of itself doesn’t change our approach. I think the results on the field will dictate that,” Alderson said. “This will have an impact on us every five days, no question about that.”
The Mets (47-46), who have lost seven of their last eight games, are currently seven games back in the National League East and 4½ games back in the wild card.
Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
Mets put ace Santana on DL with ankle sprain
ESPN.com – MLB
Latest MLB news from ESPN.com