Sadly, Johan Santana may never recover from his latest shoulder surgery. According to George A. King III of the New York Post, any semblance of his 90+ MPH fastball stuff of his prime has been lost on the 34-year-old lefty:
Tim Naehring represented the Yankees at the workout in which Santana topped out at 81 mph, pitched between 77 and 78 mph and mixed in an impressive changeup.
At least there was an “impressive” adjective mixed in with the change up. But how slow must the change up be to deviate from the 80 MPH fastball? Seems like hitters have much more time to sit back and read the pitch. Other than developing a knuckleball, this doesn’t seem like it’s going to work. According to CBS Eye on Baseball Matt Snyder, seven teams showed up for the workout. The earliest he hopes to pitch is June. But why would you have a tryout if you were struggling this badly?
Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since August 17, 2012. A full 77 days after his only no-hitter, one in which he was stretched for 134 pitches (by manager Terry Collins), and never seemed to fully recover. He hadn’t pitched any in 2011, and hadn’t exceeded 108 pitches during that season.
Johan Santana has won two Cy Young Awards (with three more Top 5 finishes), has two ERA titles, four All-Star nods, and a Gold Glove. Sad he would be unable to continue pitching at age 35 (in March). But the handwriting appears to be on the wall.
– David Whitlock