Fantasy Baseball Friday: Don’t Count on Johan Santana in 2013


by Alex Hall (@AlexKHall )

On Aug. 22, New York Mets fans and fantasy baseball owners found out Johan Santana is done for the 2012 season. It’s a shame for both groups of people; especially fantasy owners who saw Santana produce solid numbers up until July. While his decent 2012 season must be respected, don’t have him anywhere near your team next year.

The injury bug has struck Santana for the third straight MLB season after he missed all of 2011 recovering from shoulder surgery due to an injury he sustained in 2010. The Mets ace pitcher has proven that he’s still great when he’s on the mound, but the problem for Santana has been staying off the disabled list as of late.

His 2012 season will be remembered for throwing the first no-hitter in Mets history and fantasy-wise his below-three ERA coming into the month of July. As the summer days got hotter though, the wheels began to come off the veteran hurler’s comeback year.

Santana rose his ERA from 2.76 at the end of June to 3.98 by July 20. He wasn’t done ballooning that number when Aug. rolled around either, getting his ERA all the way up to 4.85 before being shut down for the year.

There once was a time where Santana could do no wrong in my mind and would always be valued as a No. 1 or No. 2 pitching option in fantasy, but the injuries have taken their toll.

In the 33-year-old pitcher’s last five starts in 2012, he gave up at least six runs in each ball game. Perhaps it was fatigue or just a bad funk for Santana during that timeframe, but neither instills confidence for fantasy mangers thinking ahead to their 2013 draft.

According to a tweet from the Mets’ official Twitter account, No. 57 believes he’ll be ready to take the mound by spring training, but even if that’s the case he’s just not worth the investment next year. He’ll be 34 years old by that time and will enter 2013 hoping to play an entire MLB season for the first time in four years.

Some would argue that means Santana has plenty left in the tank, but the more players are away from the game the less opportunities they have to improve their skill. Players that tend to get injured more than their fair share are never worth huge investments on draft day, and that rule applies for Santana.

Santana is not worth drafting until the very last few rounds next year because that’s the only place where an owner won’t feel entirely burned if he doesn’t repeat his early 2012 performance.

Photo Credit Eviltomhai

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