Baseball: Second surgery likely for Mets ace Santana

New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said Friday that he didn't believe Johan Santana's landmark no-hitter last June was a factor in the star hurler's latest shoulder injury setback.

"This was not a product or a byproduct of the no-hitter, or at least I don't feel that (it) was in any way, shape or form," Warthen said from the team's training base in Florida as he discussed the diagnosis revealed Thursday of a new tear in Santana's left shoulder.

Santana missed all of the 2011 season after surgery to repair a similar injury, but returned to shine in a 2012 season that included the first no-hitter ever by a Mets pitcher on June 1.

Santana threw 134 pitches in that outing -- the 275th no-hitter in Major League Baseball history.

After Santana's latest injury was disclosed, pundits immediately began speculating on whether his surgically repaired throwing shoulder was damaged last June as manager Terry Collins opted to let him try for history rather than stick with a planned pitch limit of 115.

Santana wasn't the same after that sparkling night, losing seven of his last 10 starts.

Warthen, however, didn't think the fiercely competitive two-time Cy Young award winner showed signs of major injury.

"He had good velocity and arm strength after that, and it doesn't matter because he never would have let us get him out of the game anyway," Warthen said.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson held a conference call to announce Santana's latest injury on Thursday. With a second surgery "a strong possibility," Santana may not pitch for the Mets again.

This is the last season of his six-year, $137.5 million contract, with the club holding an option for 2014. It seems likely that the Mets will exercise their $5.5 million buyout instead.