Johan Santana has “probable re-tear” of shoulder capsule, likely needs another surgery

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Unfortunate news coming out of Mets’ camp.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said on a conference call this evening that Santana underwent an MRI in New York which revealed a “probable re-tear” of the anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Alderson called a second surgery “a strong possibility,” which would essentially rule him out for the entire 2013 season.

Santana previously had anterior capsule surgery in September of 2010 and didn’t make his way back to the majors until last April. Given the long road back from the first surgery, it’s possible that he has thrown his final pitch in the major leagues. Just in case it wasn’t obvious already, shoulder injuries are a drag.

Santana, 33, is owed $25.5 million this season while his $25 million club option for 2014 includes a $5.5 million buyout. As Alderson confirmed during the conference call, his contract is not insured.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉