Johan Santana is getting shut down for the year

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Johan Santana has been getting killed lately. Killed so bad that people have been talking about just shutting him down for the season. While the Mets first instinct was to put him on a pitch count, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that they have decided to simply shut him down instead.

Santana has a lower back inflammation and will be placed on the DL. No surgery is necessary.  Rubin reports that the Mets are taking this well, with Sandy Alderson saying that he’s confident Santana will be back next season and that Santana “accomplished quite a lot” given that it was his first season back following serious shoulder surgery.

And he did. Certainly the no-hitter, and at times early in the season he was effective. But whether it was a stamina issue or whether ongoing issues with his shoulder caused him to rely too much on his back or some other thing in that vein, he just wasn’t the old Johan for much of the year. A year in which Santana went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA and 111 strikeouts and 39 walks in 117 innings.  With that no hitter and another shutout he still leads the league in shutouts.

See you next year, Johan. Here’s hoping this is merely a bump on the long way back from major surgery.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”