Is he REALLY "fine"?
David Lennon is reporting that Johan Santana declared he was "fine" after that 15-0 loss to the Yankees, but with his struggles over the past month, it has created a 48-hour news cycle of concern. After a 0.78 ERA in his first seven starts this year, Santana has a 6.50 ERA in his last six, raising his ERA to 3.29. Another red flag has been an apparent decrease in velocity, and his fastball ranged from 88-92 mph Sunday, down a few ticks from his normal peak.
The speculation was fueled Monday by former pitching coach Rick Peterson, who told ESPN 1050 that he had "heard rumors" that Santana was bothered by his surgically repaired left knee. Mets officials were not pleased by the comments and denied that Santana was suffering from any serious physical issues.
"Everything is OK with him," general manager Omar Minaya said.
The Mets' current pitching coach, Dan Warthen, said Sunday that Santana had been affected by a blister on his big toe and another one on the middle finger of his left hand, which developed about a month ago. That may have caused him to change his grip on his fastball, according to Warthen.
But Santana repeatedly told reporters that his health is not anything to be concerned about, despite a sore back earlier in the season and what he described as a "split nail."
"I'm good," Santana said after Sunday's loss. "I'm fine. It's just that today was a rough day."
He says he's good but let's take a look at Johan's game by game ERA, courtesy of Andrew Vazzano of The Ropolitans:
Talk about a bad trend line.
Psychic Eli from Brooklyn predicts: "Expect a sidelining injury within the next week for Mr. Santana."
How do I know? I just know.