Johan Santana used to be one of the very best pitchers in baseball. You knew that, of course, but it doesn't hurt to read those words in that exact permutation one more time. He was a peer of Roy Halladay -- the kind of pitcher you'd automatically pencil in for a top-three Cy Young finish every year. And then the anterior capsule in his left shoulder ruptured.
It doesn't matter exactly what an anterior capsule is, but once you know that it's somewhere in the shoulder, you know it was serious. The shoulder is the alien technology of the human body, at least when it comes to sports. As such, Santana was shut down at the end of 2010 and missed all of 2011.
On Tuesday, though, there's good news. From the New York Daily News:
… Johan Santana will see game action for the first time this year.
The onetime ace, trying to return from September 2010 surgery to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, will throw about two innings and 35 pitches against St. Louis at Digital Domain Park.
Spring baseball isn't boring. That's the wrong word for it. But its interesting stories are more on the human-interest side than the game-action side -- prospects, position battles, and injury recoveries. The Santana comeback has to be on the top of the list of most interesting spring stories. If he's at 90%, he's still better than most of the pitchers in baseball. And not to get crass, but the Mets still do owe him $54.5 million. They're pretty interested in how this goes.
More importantly, though, Johan Santana is ready to throw baseballs to live batters for the first time in over a year. No matter for whom you root, that's a good thing.