Big League Stew

Johan Santana’s shoulder surgery scheduled for Tuesday

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(AP)

The New York Mets have announced that Johan Santana will undergo surgery to repair a tear in the anterior capsule of his left shoulder in New York on Tuesday. It's actually the second such tear Santana has suffered in the shoulder in the past three years and will be his second major surgery in the past 31 months. The first was repaired in September of 2010 and forced Santana to miss the entire 2011 season.

Obviously, the new tear means Santana's 2013 season is over. It also likely means he's pitched his last game as a Met despite the fact they still owe him $31 million. But the real question now is will this ultimately end Santana's big league career.

The fact that he's actually going through with surgery indicates the 34-year-old is determined to pitch again. That wasn't a given just two days ago when the probability of a re-tear was first reported, but time spent with his family seems to have given him the reassurance he needed to put himself through another operation and overcome the long, grueling rehabilitation process that follows.

We certainly wish him well as he attempts to do just that. A second return from this devastating injury would be truly remarkable. But beyond that, we just want to see a terrific pitcher who has given us so many great performances and moments getting to leave the game on his own terms.

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Now, as for where the Mets will turn with Santana's season over and Shawn Marcum also beginning the season on the disabled list, the coveted opening day nod goes to Jonathan Niese. He'll be followed by Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner, and the Mets will then hope Marcum is healthy enough to debut in the No. 5 slot.

In all honesty, it's not a bad looking rotation. Of course it would be much better with a healthy and effective Santana, but with another year experience under their belts and a little luck health wise, it could provide a nice foundation for general manager Sandy Alderson to build off of going forward.

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