He had an MRI yesterday which showed inflammation in his lower back. While it does not need surgery, Santana will be placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to August 18th, and according to Alderson, "We do not expect him to pitch the rest of the season."
Alderson said he does not believe it is a disk issue, but the important thing is doctors "have indicated he does not need surgery."
In addition, Alderson stated:
- Part of the six-man rotation discussion was due to keeping Johan fresh for the remainder of the season, but the back issue superseded all of that.
- He has no second thoughts on the way the no-hitter was handled, stating "This is a back issue. ..I believe it would be very hard to trace it back to the no-hitter."
- This is a lot of innings following a season of inactivity, besides rehab.
- He does not believe fewer innings would have preserved Johan. "It's difficult to create a cause and effect based on how he was used. I don't think he was over used."
- They do not believe it is serious. Doctors have indicated he needs rest. They are very confident he will be back next season.
McHugh must be added to the 40-man roster before tomorrow's game - the 40-man roster currently stands at 39.
McHugh is 2-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts with Triple-A Buffalo. He is a combined 7-9 with a 2.88 ERA in 24 starts between Buffalo and Double-A Binghamton.
Santana allowed six runs in five innings to the Nationals last Friday night – since his no-hitter on June 1, Santana has gone 3-7 with a 8.27 ERA over ten starts, and averaged just under five innings per start over that span.
Santana finished his season with a 6-9 record and a 4.85 ERA in 117 innings over 21 starts this season – Santana lost his last five starts and has a 15.63 ERA in only 19 innings over that span.
The Mets have to find a way to maximize what they get out of Santana and the $31 million they have invested in him for next season – and running him out there when he is hurting is not be the best way to do that. No matter what, considering how things have gone for Santana over the last 2 1/2 months or so, there’s no question he's reached a low point and a crossroad of sorts in his career. Next season, he will have to make some key adjustments in order to be an effective and healthy Major League pitcher.