KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 20: Pitcher Sergio Santos #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 20, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Blue Jays defeated the Royals 4-3. (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Images)
In a pre-game press conference, the Toronto Blue Jays have announced that closer Sergio Santos has been scheduled for surgery and has been disabled for the remainder of the 2012 season. The club believes that he should be ready by 2013 spring training.
Santos was initially placed on the 15-day disabled list due to shoulder inflammation back on April 21. Despite pain he had chosen to rehab the injury instead but continuing discomfort in his shoulder during throwing sessions have forced him to elect surgery on his labrum at this point.
Sergio Santos was acquired from the Chicago White Sox this offseason for prospect Nestor Molina. He was slaighted to be the Blue Jays' closer, but only made 6 appearances before becoming injured. Santos is due $1 million for 2012, and has $8.75 million left guaranteed on his contract. He started the season recordin two blown saves, much to the chagrin of the fanbase getting to know him, before scooping up two saves, including one in his last game this season, against the Kansas City Royals.
Of course, many Jays fans have been linking this to a similar situation back in 2000, when the Toronto acquired pitcher Mike Sirotka (and others) from the Chicago White Sox for David Wells. and Matt DeWitt. Sirotka arrived at Spring Training with a torn labrum because of then Blue Jays GM Gord Ash's failure to do due diligence and check on Sirotka's health. In this case, manager John Farrell insisted that Santos first felt pain during the Royals game.
Santos now joins Kyle Drabek, Jesse Litsch, and Luis Perez as three pitchers officially declared to be out for the season. Drew Hutchison and Dustin McGowan are both on the 60-day DL and are not expected to return any time soon. Brandon Morrow, who is just beginning throwing sessions, is on the 15-day DL and is hoped to be back by mid -to-late August.
I was not surprised at this news--Santos was gone for so long with out much progress so I had no hopes of him returning this season. I am cautiously optimistic that he will return to his form by Spring Training next year and that he will prove to be a key piece of a contending 2013 Toronto Blue Jays baseball club.
UPDATE: The Blue Jays are calling Dr. Lewis Yocum to set up an appointment for Santos' surgery.