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Arm & Stammer: If Johan Santana's Really Hurt, That's a Huge Blow To N.Y. Mets

NEW YORK - AUGUST 20:  Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets walks to the dugout inbetween innings during the game against the Atlanta Braves on August 20, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Josh LevittSenior Analyst IAugust 25, 2009

For all those people that said the New York Mets' season couldn't get any worse, well, it just did:

"He has not been throwing between starts for quite awhile. I would say since before the All-Star break. He has been pitching with this problem, but not with the level of discomfort he has now," New York manager Jerry Manuel said Monday after his team's 6-2 loss to Philadelphia. "I'm terribly concerned," Manuel told Newsday. "No question about it."

Francoeur told MLB.com that he spoke with Santana about the likelihood of surgery. He told the Web site Santana, "Can get it looked at now and be two months ahead by Spring Training," indicating a need for surgery in the immediate future.

Mike Pelfrey, Santana's fellow starter, added, "I don't think anyone expects good news."

 

For the life of me, I'll never understand why/how the Mets let Johan Santana continue to go out there every fifth day even though the season was lost and Santana clearly wasn't 100 percent right. Where's the logic in that?

Yeah, I know, if Johan Santana is 50 percent of himself on the mound, then he's still better than most of the pitchers the Mets have right now. But what are we playing for here? Nothing in 2009, that's for sure.

Santana is the most important player that the Mets have and also happens to be the player who the Mets have invested the most money in. At the first sign that Santana's body was breaking down, the Mets should have played it very safe with Santana in the hopes of protecting their investment and the team's future. The fact that Santana is hurt this late into a hopeless season tells me that the Mets did not do a good job of protecting their asset.

Santana is known as a gamer and a very prideful guy, who takes pride in his pitching ability. On one hand, it's admirable that he kept competing during a lost season when the Mets played so poorly and were so far out of the race. But on the other hand, as a fan, you have to hope that Santana can recognize when something is obviously not right with his health, that he has to tone it down or else he could be risk further injury.

But once those competitive juices get flowing, you never know, I guess.

With all of that said, the panic level is rising in Mets land. With all the injuries this season, you can make a strong case that the panic level was code orange. But if the Mets lose Johan Santana for an extended period of time, the terror level will be a painfully high code red.

Say your prayers for good news, Met fans. I sure as hell will.

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