For roughly five months, the Mets have been plugging along without their ace Johan Santana in the rotation. This much was mostly expected.
Sure, the Mets have struggled to find any consistency when it comes to starting pitching, and lord knows they need all the help they can get. Between injuries, Mike Pelfrey‘s regression, and the ups and downs of Chris Capuano and Dillon Gee, this collection of pitchers has caused a great deal of frustration.
At this juncture, is there any good reason why the Mets should try to bring back Santana this year, if even in just a limited capacity (perhaps bullpen work only)?
As with most compelling decisions, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
Having Santana toe the rubber this year, if only for a few appearances, could bring a sense of excitement to a franchise in desperate need of it.
On the flip side, with Santana being a precious piece of the Mets 2012 plans, wouldn’t it be wise to just shut him down and avoid any injury risk that may come along with trotting him out there in seemingly meaningless September games?
It’s a dilemma that the Mets’ front office has to grapple with. I certainly see both sides to the argument.
On one hand, it would be nice to see exactly what Santana has in him. If he shows you some encouraging signs, maybe you can go into 2012 with assurances that he can be a vital member of the rotation. But what if Santana struggles and shows cracks in the armor? Well, at least you will know what you’re working with and can plan ahead to 2012 accordingly.
Conversely, if you just rest Santana, at least you know you are taking all the necessary steps to keep him healthy and have him completely ready for next year
While playing their last ever series, in what is called Sun Life Stadium, the Mets also had Santana throw a bullpen session. And from all accounts it went well. As of now, Santana is scheduled to start another rehab game on Friday. After that, Santana may be recalled to the Mets.
There are a lot of variables here, and sooner or later the Mets must know what hey have in Santana. Is he an ace? Is he a middle of the rotation pitcher? Or he is just another bullpen arm?
All these questions will be answered sooner or later. Will they be answered in September or in March of 2012?
That depends if the Mets want to be extra-cautious or if they want to drum up some late fall excitement.
In any event, the return of Santana-whenever it is- will still be a pick me up. Hopefully, Santana has enough in him to appease both the Mets’ front office and their fans.