Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yo Johan - what's wrong?

What's up with Johan Santana? He looked like fantasy's top pitcher at the start of this year and the surefire stud he's been for years. Then things started to turn a little bit south in his past few starts, with talk of his velocity being down, and he was getting hit harder than usual. Not a huge deal, but a concern to those owners watching closely. Then, Sunday's nine-run shelling in a 15-0 loss to the Yankees really got everybody's attention. Now all of a sudden we're hearing reports of back soreness, a split fingernail and finally a blister that forced him to change his grip and lose effectiveness on his fastball.

It's hard to know what to believe at this point in terms of Santana's health or the root cause of his struggles. The Mets' ace says he's fine, it was just a bad day (a really bad, career-worst day at that) and he'll be OK. Time will tell, so maybe if you're a cautious type you sit Santana for his next scheduled start against the slugging Tampa Bay Rays and watch the radar gun and see how he looks. But I'm not going to flip out about this right now if I'm a Santana owner - the guy's been too good for too long. If it were up to me I'd keep him activated and hope this has been just a temporary blip on what should be a fine season.

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