Bob Klapisch was at Johan Santana‘s rehab start in Florida and tweeted:
I find the Tweet about Randy Niemann very interesting. Is it actually possible that Santana returns and is never the same? Well, of course it is, but as a baseball fan, you never think of the worst happening to your ace. The two-time Cy Young Award winner hasn’t pitched a full season since 2008, and hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Mets at all this season. Santana’s production also seems to be gradually dropping, going from 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings to just 6.5 last year in 29 starts.
Santana’s velocity, which as you can see above, was at around 90 miles per hour, is actually very promising. Santana usually throws three to four miles per hour faster than he did tonight, which is a much smaller difference than expected from a pitcher who hasn’t played in almost a full year. For the next month, he needs to work on getting his “stuff” back and building up arm strength, especially if he wants to make it through a full season next year, which I assume he does.
By next year, I think (and hope) Santana is close to what he was in 2008. He will only be 33, so it’s not like he’s approaching 40 and well past his prime. He still has a few very good seasons left in him.
How do you think the Santana situation will turn out? Will he be back to his normal greatness, or will he become an average overpaid pitcher? Leave your prediction in the comments section by clicking the article title and scrolling down.