Johan joins the Mets' MASH unit due to sore elbow

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It simply had to happen. The Mets had already lost Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and plenty of others. Now perhaps the most valuable player of all has gone down: Johan Santana has been scratched from his start Tuesday because of a sore elbow.
According to manager Jerry Manuel after today’s loss, Santana has been having issues with the elbow since at least the All-Star break. He was no longer throwing on the side in between starts, which probably helped lead to his inconsistency on the mound. He was still 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA in seven second-half starts, so he certainly wasn’t bad. However, he had allowed at least nine hits in four of those outings.
Santana will be examined on Tuesday. Even a somewhat favorable diagnosis that would result in him being shut down for 10-14 days might as well end his season.
The Mets are without any quality alternatives for the rotation because of all of their injuries. Pat Misch, who bailed out Oliver Perez by pitching four innings Sunday, figures to be in the mix, though he won’t be able to start in Santana’s place tomorrow. Journeymen Nelson Figueroa and Elmer Dessens are other options to fill in. The one semi-intriguing youngster in Triple-A is 24-year-old Tobi Stoner, who has gone 5-7 with a 4.46 ERA, 76 H and 50/29 K/BB in 76 2/3 IP since moving up to Buffalo. He projects as more of a middle reliever, but he’d now seem to have a realistic chance of picking up some starts this year.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.