Apr 11, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Sergio Santos (21) celebrates after defeating the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Sergio Santos Looking Forward To 2013 Return

When Alex Anthopoulos acquired right-hander Sergio Santos last winter, he was excited about the possibility of adding a legitimate, shut-down closer to the Blue Jays bullpen. After all, Santos was coming off a season where he registered 30 saves and put up an astounding 13.1 strike-outs per nine innings pitched.

The fact that the converted shortstop would also be under club control for six seasons made it easier to stomach sending solid prospect Nestor Molina to the White Sox in return.

One piece of the puzzle had fallen into place.

Unfortunately for Anthopoulos, Santos would pitch in just six games for Toronto in 2012, registering just 2 saves while surrendering 5 runs in 5 innings pitched. A right shoulder injury, which Santos initially tried to rehab before having surgery in July, ended his season before it ever truly began.

Santos would be the first of many pitchers to fall like dominoes for the Blue Jays.

Official word out of Toronto is that Santos is now progressing well in his rehabilitation and that he could be ready to rejoin the team by the beginning of Spring Training in February.

At this stage, the rehab consists of strength and conditioning exercises, meant to expand his range of motion in the shoulder. The next hurdle will be having him ready to begin a throwing program with the rest of the Jays pitchers in December. If he can get himself through that, Santos will likely be game ready in the first few weeks of Spring Training.

Of course, none of that guarantees that Santos will return to his role as closer, at least immediately. Casey Janssen has done an admirable job in holding down the 9th inning role and will likely get first crack at retaining it when camp opens up. However, the Jays have a lot invested into Santos and would ultimately like to see him back in the role.

Regardless of the roles, the Blue Jays pen will see a significant upgrade at the back-end of games in 2013.

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  • James Foster

    Santos stunk up the field in the majority of his appearances I don’t know why AA thinks so highly of him or shined up the “closer” role for him (guy was wild even in Chitown… and if your going to foolishly buy into the whole “closer” mystique then the last thing you want is someone with wildness problems).

    Give me Casey any day if you want stress free 9th innings.

    • Paul Miller

      While I agree that Casey should be given the closer role when Spring Training rolls around, I don’t think we should be looking too much at Santos’ appearances this year as it was such a small sample, and he was injured.

      While Santos does appear to be wild sometimes, he does have a high ceiling and certainly has the “stuff” to be a lights out closer with that vicious wipe out slider, and flame throwing fast ball. This is what Casey doesn’t have.

      All in all, this is a good problem to have for the Jays! ;)

    • Thanksalot

      Basically you know more than the league or AA or those stupid scouty people because you saw him pitch one or twice twice when he had an arm injury. Amazing.