Johan Santana’s comeback has hit another speed bump.
Last week we covered Santana’s return to the mound for the Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Santana looked good, pitching two perfect innings against and facing a number of big league hitters in the process. The appearance reportedly drew the interest of a number of Major League clubs.
Unfortunately, LVBP.com is reporting that Santana felt lingering pain in the front of his left shoulder shortly thereafter and the club skipped his scheduled start on Sunday.
Magallanes was hoping he’d be able to take the hill this coming Thursday, but Santana continues to feel lingering discomfort.
As such, the club has opted instead to play it safe and shut him down for the remainder of the Venezuelan Winter League playoffs.
He underwent an MRI that revealed no structural damage to the shoulder, but his comeback bid is – for the moment – over.
If Santana can get – and stay – healthy, there’s a still a good chance someone will take a low-cost, minor league flier on the 35-year-old; but it’s looking less and less like Santana’s body, specifically his twice surgically-repaired shoulder, can hold up to the strain of pitching.
Prior to the injury, Santana was reportedly throwing upper-80s heat with his fastball and using his changeup with no limitations.
He’ll never been the Santana of old, but his two flawless innings last week showed that he’s still got the fire and the guile to get the job done against big league hitters; but his body just doesn’t appear to be willing or able to allow him that opportunity.
As a long-time fan of Santana, I’m hopeful that this will be nothing more than a temporary setback for the two-time Cy Young winner; but for now, it’s looking as though this might be the end of the road.