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…

Comments (118)

  1. Sergio Santos, we hardly knew ye…

  2. Something to consider: Nestor Molina currently has a 4.61 ERA with uninspiring peripherals in his second season at AA (plus one god-awful start at AAA). I know we’ll undoubtedly hear speculation that the Jays got hosed in this trade, but even if Santos was hurt (and there’s no indication that he was), there’s still a very good chance that the Jays came out on top here.

    • At least we didn’t trade for Michael Pineda. If we shipped out fucking Lawrie and this shit happened I probably would have just quit watching baseball for the next 5 years.

      • Do people realise the White Sox signed Santos after last season? if they knew his shoulder was messed up they would not have signed him.

  3. So… this is the last time we trade for a pitcher from the White Sox, correct?

  4. d”Arnaud as well, but no surgery

  5. Another fact people seem to be forgetting: Santos is under contract (potentially) through 2017. There’s still a LOT of time for this to work itself out.

  6. Fuck u Kenny

  7. Whatever. Sam Dysons got the stuff of two Sergio santos’

  8. So what?, we still have Coco.

  9. We got Jason Fraser too and Edwin Jackson from the sox…sucks for santos but unlikely he was injured before

    • Check out his ERA in September and ask yourself why did they hide him in spring training. Then you might have some doubt.

      • Santos’s ERA is September was a warning sign.

        Would Farrell or AA admit to getting damaged goods even if they thought so privately?

        It would make the Jays look incompetent.

        It would also damage any future trades with the white sox.

      • Check out his peripherals in September and it’s pretty clear that injury wasn’t the problem. That .450 BABIP screams “bad luck”, as does his 2.11 xFIP. His September K/9 was 15.6… that’s generally something that injured guys can’t pull off.

        • But okay, let’s go back to being hysterical conspiracy theorists, I guess. :|

          • Wasn’t it odd that the White Sox would trade a young closer with a great contract for 5 years for Nestor Molina???

            Proven closer were getting 50 million dollar contracts like Papelbon .

            Why would Kenny Williams make that trade, if he didn’t think that Santos may be an injury risk?

            Didn’t AA think that Marcum might be an injury risk when he traded him for Lawrie?

          • Stop being rational! Hindsight is 20/20 so 8 2/3 innings where he gave up a few runs is a clear sign he was injured and it was all a ruse. The Jays knew he was injured and instead of keeping him in extended spring training to get things sorted out they hid him during the spring and put him in three of the first four games of the regular season because they knew he was hurting.

          • If you seriously believe that the ONLY reason Kenny Williams possibly would have traded Santos was because he was injured, then there’s really nothing else to discuss here because that’s insane.

            As for Marcum, I have no idea how you (or anyone) would possibly know that. I do know that when he traded Marcum, AA said it was especially difficult for him because he had been hoping to sign him to an extension as a Blue Jay. So… no.

  10. Is there a link to the Lower Hudson blog article?

  11. Ummm..yeah. It’s not a stretch to say that with a healthy Santos, the Jays dont blow at least 3 of those early season give backs. how far we back of a playoff spot?

    Oh yeah.

    • Very true. I was very happy that Cordero was not used yesterday once it got to 11-8. Why did Farrell not use him with a seven run cushion? Was he afraid of having him booed off the field again?

  12. Shouldergate part 2? Mike Sirotka?

  13. Jay Jaffe did a labrum outcome story for BP just before Pineda’s surgery as well:

  14. The loss of Santos is hard to measure. Had he been healthy all season, one could argue Janssen would have pitched in the those high leverage situations that Coco got thrown into, first in the 9th them in the 8th.

    A healthy (andeffective, of course) Santos from spring training could be the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs.

    However, I understand the world doesn’t quite work that way….either way, tough loss and see ya in 2013 Sergiooooooooooooooo!

  15. Is this a new injury or? If not why wasn’t this done 3 months ago?

  16. Assuming he can recover to pre-surgery levels, I’d still have made that trade any day of the week, even knowing you’d lose him for a year. What a contract.

    • Huge assumption. Read up on the history of pitchers who have had labrum surgery. He’s more likely to end up as Dustin McGowan than as Sergio Santos pre-injury. Much like McGowan, ANY value we get out of him from here on out has to be considered an unexpected bonus.

  17. I’d say all the injuries to starters this year effectively amounts to Villanueva’s audition for a spot in the rotation next year. If he can keep up what we’ve seen so far for the rest of the season, plus some expected regression I think he could be a fine stopgap for a season or two.

    An article linked in last Wednesday’s link dump from Jays Journal listed possible trade candidates to consider for the rotation. A number of those mentioned were guys with 4 pitch mixes and a history of starting in the minors who seem underutilized in other teams’ bullpens. I’d argue we already have that guy in CV.

    I understand the reluctance to put in this role given how well he’d pitched out of the bullpen, but I’m glad he’s getting a chance. if he proves he can hack it, he must be infinitely more valuable as a starter than a reliever. Makes the whole cash/probably-a-toss-in-for-the-Lawrie-deal transaction that much more of a win for AA and the Jays

    • If you are aware of hia history the last two seasons you would realize that your comment is not really anchored in reality. Carloa had to start last season and was good for 8 or 9 starts before sucking for the rest. He cannot handle 100 innings let alone 150. Before this season started, AA and Farrell both said they would not be shuttling him between the bullpen and starting roles but were quite clearly handcuffed and had no choice.

      He is a solid reliever, but the Jays are not considering him for a full time starting job.

  18. I know it is going to make me sound like a conspiracy theorist but I have recently heard on Getting Blanked as well as other sites that the White Sox are a team known for keeping players healthy. It does seem strange to trade a pitcher who had a great contract and seemed to be performing fairly well for another pitcher who doesn’t project to even be the same caliber of pitcher as Santos. Maybe they saw something in his mechanics or something about him that induced the Sox to trade him. I am just saying it seemed like a weird trade then and injury not to long after seems a bit weird as well. I know all of that is circumstantial evidence and would not likely be admitted but this is a sports site so fuck it.

    • They only signed him to that contract in September. Unlikely they take the risk of inking him with an obvious injury that could submarine any deal.

      • I was not aware of when they traded him. Drew why do you think then that they would pull of this trade? I heard Goldstein on the Up and In podcast also mention the soxs and there ability to keep guys healthy. Do you think it is luck or is there something greater going on? My pitching knowledge is extremely limited but from what I have read certain deliveries place more strain on certain parts of the body. Is it conceivably possible that the Sox know something that others don’t? (I am basing this solely on there health track record). Again I know it sounds conspiracy theorist and all and in my gut I do not believe he was previously injured. The thing that I just can’t wrap my head around is why do the fucking white sox have the ability to keep guys healthy? And if there is any connection between that and the trade.

      • Drew,

        Why would the white sox trade a young closer who had a great contract till 2017 be traded for a mid level prospect?

        It didn’t make sense to me from a white sox perspective.

        • Addison Reed and the worst farm system in baseball. The Sox had a replacement for Santos waiting in the wings, and cheaper to boot. For a system that needed improvement, to land a very good prospect from one of the best systems (either Callis or Sickels had Molina at #2 at the time of the trade, ahead of the Lansing 3, Gose and Marisnick) for a replaceable closer seems pretty rational to me. Almost too rational for Kenny Williams…

        • A lot of people seem to question the White Sox, and why they would make this deal. If I remember correctly though, Molina was their number one pitching prospect once they made the trade. Doesn’t really seem that crazy on their end.
          Really hope Santos comes back strong next season, and we can see this exciting arm!

      • And maybe they really like Molina.

    • Remember too , that the Jays obviously had full medicals done, so just as with Pineda Santos could not have been injured at the time of trade. Just bad luck, or bad preparation/maintenance after joining the Jays.

      • Actually, the article says that Pineda’s injury only showed up when they used a different type of MRI. Cashman didn’t suggest that the Mariners or anyone else knew about it, but he did say that there probably was some pre-existing damage.

        I suspect both the White Sox and Jays knew that he was hurt but disagreed on the severity of it. Unfortunately, playing in the AL Beast with a bottom-five payroll, these are the kinds of gambles the Jays will have to take, much like extending McGowan. It sounds like we fucked them just as badly though by pumping Molina’s tires so much when we probably knew he was unlikely to amount to anything.

  19. jesus christ Escobar, thats pathetic

  20. escobar does a beauty whiff strike 1,2,3. definitely not prepared to play.just waking up from banging the chicks lastnight

  21. Fucking Escobar….

  22. I kind of wish people on here would fuck off with the cheap payroll shit. It’s fucking old and tiresome. (As in, every fucking comment thread.) If you don’t like the way the Jays are building this team, go be a fucking Yankees fan. There’s always more room on that bandwagon. Seriously, why do you bother?

    • Nice try, Nadir Mohamed.

      • Seriously, what’s the point of being such a whiny bitch all the time? How much fun could you possibly have supporting this team? Why do you bother?

        • Lots of different ways to be a fan. I also don’t presume to know what you do with the 23 hours and 50 minutes per day that you aren’t posting on this board. I wouldn’t think you’d have any clue what I do either.

          And while we’re talking about tiresome points, the one about “if you don’t like how Rogers mismanages the Jays, go be a Yankees fan” has to be one of the dumbest straw-man arguments ever. That’s like how the Americans used to say if you don’t like Bush, move to France. Seriously, that’s the only option you can think of? That’s an option I’m supposed to be happy with after being a fan of the team for 30 years?

          • You’re sort of right. There are a lot of different ways to be a fan. They didn’t sign any big ticket free agents last winter. Let’s move on already.

          • I don’t think you could point to many people on this board that really would have supported signing any of the “big” name free agents this offseason (sans Yu Darvish) at their current contracts.

          • Agreed.

          • There is always the Red Sox as well. =) Sorry couldn’t help myself.

    • Because a team that had an above average payroll wold be able to sign more players & have more depth in the rotation. or in position players.

      The red sox with half the roster on the DL are still ahead of us.

      I think AA with money would be a dangerous GM.

      • Except you have no idea how much money AA has at his disposal or doesn’t. None of us do. People go on about cheap ownership but have no idea what AA’s budget actually is.

        • Also Ginger: the comparison you made between my comments and American’s telling anti-Bush Americans to go somewhere else is a straw-man argument. The United States is a democratically elected government. People expressing their grievances with their elected officials has the potential impact of changing their future government. The competition between discreet perspectives is the essence of democracy. Rogers is not a democracy. It’s their business to run how they see fit. If you don’t like your internet or cell phone service, switch to a different service provider. If you don’t like how they’re running their baseball team, pick another one.

          • It’s not actually “their business to run as they see fit,” assuming you’re talking about Rogers management. Rogers is a publicly-owned company and in fact I do own a piece (admittedly tiny) of it. Management’s job is to run the company in a way that maximizes shareholder value. Different shareholders may have different opinions on how that might be achieved. It’s actually extremely similar to being one voter (out of millions) helping to elect a government.

            Additionally, I’m not just a shareholder of the Jays, I’m a customer (season tickets, merchandise, TV viewership in addition to non-Jays-specific Rogers services). Whether or not the Jays make an effort (doesn’t necessarily have to be successful) to compete will have a direct effect on my future patronage. And if you don’t think a business should listen to its customers, I’d suggest you’d be a pretty poor businessman.

          • Very good point Ginger. Rogers could run the franchise into the ground if they wanted to. However, the damage to shareholder value would prevent that.

            I think Nadir Mohammed is smart enough not to starve the Jays.

            Any moves AA makes will have a neglible effect on Rogers finances.

          • But they’re also not a charity. I would imagine they want to be as profitable as possible. You can argue with their strategy in that regard if you see fit. But I wold imagine they’re pretty smart business people. Honestly, I can’t even believe that I’m defending Rogers. They’re assholes who’ve gauged me for years on all of their products. In this instance, however, I’m just not convinced that they’re the reason AA hasn’t bought any big ticket free agents.

          • @ Ginger, I re-read your concluding sentence, and its an interesting point you raise about business listening to the customer. I’m of a differing opinion (hard to believe right?). Businesses have learned today that it is far too expensive and difficult to listen to your customrs. Ignoring your customers complaints acutally saves you money, because there are so many of them, and because your customers will put up with the poor service if you do nothing. Rogers Communications, and the Jays are shinning examples of this strategy – go ahead swich your service, cause there are just as many disgruntled Bell customers swithing. As a shareholder you should see great value here.

        • True. There has been speculation that AA is turning down money from Rogers .

          It’s a bit confusing because he told McCowan that if he wanted to sign a big free agent like Fielder he would have to guarantee playoffs.

          At this point you have to look at what Rogers does than what Rogers says they will do.

          It will be an interesting two weeks for AA.

          Will he pull the trigger?

          • I just think: if I were AA, I would want to play it safe until I was as confident as possible that this team could win. I mean, he’s gambling with his career. If he goes all in, and the team doesn’t make it, he’s pretty much done as a big league GM.

          • I guess the thing is this: I don’t like or trust the Rogers corporation. But I do like and trust Paul Beeston. I don’t think he’s a highly paid apologist. I believe him when he says that if Rogers wasn’t willing to spend the money he wouldn’t have taken the job.

          • Just a rant…Ginger raises the Shareholder Value point, and while true, it sure does stick in your craw. Shareholder Value is the scurge of fandom, it drowns everything good in its wake. What could be more important than linning the pockets of the already non-interested well-to-do who own this team. Yes the only meaningful way dissatified fans can be heard is to stay away in droves. We will likely see many more Dissatified fans following this road trip, as AA may already be too late to save the 2012 campaign.

          • Trust Beeston? He expects to make the playoffs 3 of the next 5 years. Either he’s delusional or believes the fans are gullible enough to believe him.

            Until Rogers shows that they want to spend money on the team, and bring the salary to at least league average, it’s a valid argument to say that they care more about ROI than wins.

  23. Shit I have heard Buck say today…

    “When the leadoff guy walks, he scores 90 times out of 10″

    yes, thats right.he said the guy scores 9 more times than he actually appears at the plate

    There has been statistical analysis that proves leadoff walks do not score significantly more than leadoff hits or errors or hit by pitches.

    why announcers continue to trumpet this complete fabricated statistic is beyond me.

  24. Where would we be without Charlie V?

  25. Nice job by Carlos once again. So the starter is done. Let white knuckle time commence.

    • Ya. I tend to feel better about things if the starter gets us through 7. We’re good in the 8th and 9th. But the 7th can get a bit dicey…..

  26. pat and buck fuck off.they startout saying how great the angels pitching is and within 5 minutesdissect how shitty and hurt the pitchers are. which is it fuckheads

  27. Ben Sheets.

    Would have been a nice way to solve some rotation problems, on the cheap.

    • I wanted Sheets to sign here because I was certain he’d be good.

      Of course, I’m just as certain McGowan will be just as good whenever he gets back, so…

  28. I’ve seriously had enough of Davis.

  29. Did I see that correctly? Earlier there was an ad for a show on the fan590 featuring Sam Cosentino and Dirk Hayhurst? I always found the baseball talk lacking on the fan, other than Wilner, but this is their answer?
    Why not throw “statsman” Carson on there for good measure.

    Stotoen, Parkes and Drew may be in for a big payday someday if this is their competition.

    • Didn’t Tim or Sid come from the score & ended up wth the fan590?

      I wonder if Stoeten or Parkes or Drew who is excellent on the podcasts would want a baseball show on the Fan during weekends, if the Jays became a competitive team?

      • their should be a contest for the next set of broadcasters for the jays voted in by the fans. i would love to tryout. rogers could make some money off of this too.imagine contestants video on phone apps all year and monthly surviors for a finale

      • “I wonder if Stoeten or Parkes or Drew who is excellent on the podcasts would want a baseball show on the Fan during weekends”

        With all due respect to those three guys, who I think are all fantastic, it would probably more be a case of convincing The Fan to hire them, rather than convincing them that they should work at The Fan.

        But I agree with you, they deserve that increased exposure. They’re probably the best baseball analysts in TO right now IMO.

    • i recall dan schulman mentioning an impasse in negotiating his deal to do sunday night baseball. apparently espn wanted dan the man to get a hair transplant so he would look more tv sexy. schulman refused, and it looks like the compromise was the “live free or die hard” bruce willis look.

      this has me imagining a similar stalemate in the future between sports net and Stoeten’s beard. i’m sure our hometown blogging hero will cling on to that rats nest as it is one one of the last bastions of his quickly slipping youth. despite sports net’s evidence that the focus groups were unanimous in that they were convinced that they could actually smell the beard though the tv screen.

    • A Stats guy will never sell, you’ll put people to sleep. You can be an Egg-head, but you better dress it up as opinion, and be entertaining, if you want to keep the audience. If you spew numbers and call every one an idiot, you will not be broadcasting long. Hey sounds like Wilner almost.

      • I am sure that Dave Cameron of Fangraphs is a really nice guy and is certainly very knowledgeable about baseball and all the sabermetrics. But listening to his podcast is like having your teeth pulled.

  30. The bigger angle isn’t that Jansen is killing it in the ninth inning, so much as he isn’t shutting it down in the seventh or eighth inning.

  31. Nice job old man

  32. anyone notice how many teams in the NL are out of the wildcard race compared to the AL.not even close or fair. lots of sellers in the NL. I laugh how they say tim lincecum is back to being great against the shittiest team in all ball the houston astros who will entertain in the AL next year.

  33. i realize that the realistic thing to consider is a wild card birth. that said, the jays have 15 games yet to play against the new york yankees.

    just say’n

  34. Just have a very good feeling this team is going to hover around .500 the rest of the season. Dont have the consistency in the starting rotation, depth in the bullpen and lineup as well for that matter. I really hope the jays are going to make a very strong push to improve the the team this offseason and spend some $ (wisely). Its time. They’ve already wasted 3 seasons with one of the top 3-5 hitters in the game.

  35. Tomorrow, Colby is playing in his 1st game in Yankee Stadium and, perhaps his first time back since that famous picture of him with Andy Pettitte from his Little League World Series fame.

  36. Even though other teams are having their issues with injures and under achieving, we all said a lot of things had to go right for this team to compete. Not only did most of the things go wrong for the Jays, the fans still disregard this say we have a chance to buy buy buy and make a push. Why would management do that?

  37. Duh? Really? I said a few weeks ago we wouldn’t see him again this year on this very blog (about the time Morrow got hurt). Given things are what they are, I can’t see the point in trading for a starter now. With 2 members of the bullpen down (Perez and Santos), 1 member of the bullpen just taking up space (Cordero) and 3 starters out, trading for Garza, Dempster or Liriano would be like putting a band-aid on a tumor. The Jays would almost have to swing a trade like they made with the Cardinals last year where they got a boatload of relievers in return to stem the tide- not very likely. The way the season has progressed is a real downer, but at least there’s a future on the horizon worth looking forward to.

    • Well, there’s a point in picking up starting pitchers that are under control next year (kill two birds with one stone). In fact, AA said he thinks there’s merit in bringing in rentals that they would like to acquire as free agents (showcase the team and the city to them in a more meaningful way than dinner, drinks and a promotional video.) Whether either of those scenarios will be worth the potential prospect cost or not…..?

      • And ya know, they’re only 1.5 games out of a wild card. Sure there pitching staff has gone to shit, but the Yankees pitching staff goes to shit every year and they still make the playoffs. I mean, the difference between good pitching and bad pitching is, like, 1 to 1.5 runs a game. If they hit like motherfuckers, they can make that up. And let’s face it: Laffey and Charlie V have been as good as Drabek and Hutch had been. I mean, it won’t take them far in a playoff series. But they could conceivably get there with replacement level pitching if they keep up the offense.

        • sorry, I meant “their” pitching staff has gone to shit.

        • My money is on the Jays in Game 2 of the series because Cecile is pitching. This guy leads the league in run support, so you can count on at least 10 runs being scored by the Jays. Probably the longest game in MLB history with a football-like final score.

          • Ya. Sometimes I think Cecil would be more successful if he threw the ball up there underhand. They probably couldn’t hit the ball AS hard if it came in at 35mph instead of 85….

      • Yes. They’re going to need one or two starters for 2013. If you can acquire him/them now – great.

  38. The other series I will be watching this week – Youkilis returns to Bahsten for 4 games and Funny Valentine getting the party started with words, noice:

    one of the few times I will cheer for Ass Jack Pierzsynski

  39. Ive been saying it since the trade happened. The white sox fully knew that Santos was about to fall apart physically and likely so did AA because I have to sincerely hope he isnt that dumb.

  40. Anthony Gose had a decent weekend: in Sacramento, which is more a pitcher-friendly park, he went 5 for 14 with 1 HR and 1 triple, and 4 BBs (so .500 OBP), 1 big drag though, 3 CS, no SB. He is 0 for 4 in his last 10 games re: stolen bases. He’s no Billy Hamilton, that’s fer shur.

  41. Somewhere as the sun sets in the western plain of the baseball horizon go 2 lonely figues. One black, one white, with a combined total of nearly half a century of MLB experience between them. Oh what a different outcome the upcoming series would have if only we had kept Vlady and Moyer. We will never know what glory awaited us.

  42. Welp, that’s reassuring. But I’m sure Stand Pat..oops I mean Alex, has got an arm he’s looking at in Dunedin…the Unknown pitcher

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