Johan Santana hasn’t pitched in the Majors since August 17, 2012, took his first step towards making a comeback on Tuesday in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Santana pitched two perfect innings, facing just six batters and throwing only 17 pitches in his first winter league appearance. That’s a very, very good way to get started on the path back to Major League Baseball.
Johan Santana is done today. 2.0 IP, 17 pitches, 0 H, no runs. Six batters faced
— Marcos Grunfeld M. (@bvenezolano) January 14, 2015
Santana, 35, is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and has the distinction of throwing the only no-hitter in New York Mets history. He made four All-Star appearances, three with the Minnesota Twins and one with the New York Mets.
Santana began his career with the Twins in 2000 and spent eight seasons there, going 93-44 with a 3.22 ERA. He was traded to the Mets prior to the 2008 season for Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey.
Santana led the league in ERA (2.53), games started (34) and innings pitched (234.1) in his first season in New York. He was an All-Star in his second season but injuries began to hinder his performance in 2010.
He has shoulder capsule surgery in 2010 and missed the 2011 season. In 2012 he went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts. He still pitched two complete game shutouts that year but he was shut down in August.
He had shoulder capsule surgery again in 2013. After signing with the Baltimore Orioles organization as a free agent in 2014. He then tore his achilles tendon during an extended spring training with the Orioles, rendering him out for the entire 2014 season.
Still, the two-time Cy Young Award winner believes he is not done playing baseball and he wants to “go out on his own terms” according to one of his agents.
It appears that the 35-year-old left-hander just may be able to make that happen. Teams have been calling and inquiring about Santana according to one of his representatives, Chris Leible, from The Legacy Agency.
Teams may have been calling but they were waiting to see what happened in his Tuesday outing. If the perfect two-inning outing is any indication then Santana should be signing with an MLB team soon.
He will be able to retire on his own terms instead of being forced out of the game by injuries. Santana was once one of MLB’s elite left-handers and he could be again.