In a somewhat delayed piece of business, the Jays announced today that the injury to the right shoulder of closer Sergio Santos isn’t getting any better so he’s going under the knife. The procedure will be on the labrum, not the rotator cuff with is a small consolation.
Sounds like Santos shoulder just wasn’t getting better/remained painful so the decision to opt for surgery came down from on high. Santos initially tried working through the injury to avoid missing the season and yet here we are.
The first, and most important detail that is sure to guide the ensuing Santos discussion: this was not, we are told, a pre-existing injury. The calls of damaged goods and a lack of due diligence might make you feel smart/better but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Santos claims he first felt the pain in Kansas City but, if you’re determined to get bent out of shape about and already sharpened your pitchfork, you are free to dismiss that as spin.
The decision to drag out his rehab might raise a few eyebrows as well, though if this was the inevitable outcome I fail to see how it matters much. Either he is out for the year or he is out for the year – when it all went down seems trivial.
How you measure the impact of Santos going down so early is a matter of perspective: either you point to the overwhelming success of Casey Janssen as reason the injury hasn’t been that big deal. Add a dash of “relievers are fungible” and you are ready to brush this off like it is nothing.
The other, truer, side suggests a healthy Sergio Santos keeps Francisco Cordero from Proven Closering his way into a shit tonne of high leverage opportunities, many of which ended in tears. The bullpen chaining implications are enough to keep you up at night but, as it relates to this surgery, it doesn’t change much.
Sergio Santos should be ready for Spring Training and return to the 2013 Blue Jays with a (hopefully) successful shoulder surgery behind him. The track record of pitchers coming back from labrum surgery is….mixed, as this Lower Hudson Yankees blog post recaps with links to a full spectrum of case studies. The man currently occupying the capitol-C Closer role in Toronto is a labrum success story, though he is a player with a very different profile than the power arsenal of Santos.
All anyone can do is wait. Wait and see the extent of the damage Dr. Yocum must clean up and then see how he rehabs. It is a blow but, at this point of the season, probably not the end of the world. As many point out (in the comments here and on twitter) Santos is still on such a sweetheart deal until 2017 that it is impossible to consider this trade a bust for the Jays. Here’s hoping…