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?
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.