Heard this from a couple of evaluators: Johan Santana's velocity is down 3-4 miles per hour from a couple of years ago. He is short-arming the ball more than he has in the past -- and this is after some red flags appeared in the physical examination he underwent before signing with the Mets. Sources say his shoulder showed some wear and tear, which is not unusual for a pitcher of Santana's age. This is not to say Santana is not an effective pitcher now, but all of this information makes you wonder how effective he will remain during the course of his multi-year deal.Obviously, these rumors could be discarded should Santana continue to dominate hitters during the life of his new deal. However, should Santana's shoulder crumble in the next couple of seasons it will be interesting to hear what Hank Steinbrenner [and similar-sounding Yankee fans] feel about Brian Cashman's decision to pass on the Johan sweepstakes.
To be fair, when I saw Santana pitch at Yankee Stadium last weekend the stadium gun had the lefty consistently pitching 91-93 mph. Santana frequently hit 94 and topped out at 96 a few times with his fastball. This is all reliant on the Yankee Stadium radar gun which is often said to be inaccurate at times. Though Keith Law agrees with that idea, I usually find the stadium gun to be very accurate.