In light of Omar Minaya’s comments at yesterday’s press conference, one wonders how closely Johan Santana’s health has been monitored since coming to New York:
In his latest public slip-up, Minaya seemed to forget that Santana, his $137.5 million ace, had elbow problems in February and early March that jeopardized his availability for the start of the season. That happened “such a long time ago,” said Minaya, who added that he “did not remember that part” when asked whether he regretted not giving Santana a magnetic resonance imaging test in spring training.
I’ll leave it to the doctors to wonder whether or not Santana’s bone chips might have been discovered if he had been given an MRI back in the spring. I can’t help but wonder, however, whether Minaya’s apparent failure to grasp the health status of his team’s most important player isn’t evidence of a larger lack of interest in player health on the part of the team’s management. Which, you may recall, is not a new question.
It’s one thing to bemoan the injuries when they happen, but are we certain that the Mets are doing everything they can to prevent them?
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: