De Los Santos Meets Tommy John

One of the key additions of the Athletics; offseason of wheeling and dealing will not pitch again in 2008.

Fautino de los Santos, a righthander the A’s picked up in the four-player trade that sent Nick Swisher to the White Sox, underwent Tommy John surgery this week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

De los Santos came out of nowhere last year to earn a spot in the Futures Game with an outstanding South Atlantic League debut. He eventually earned a promotion to high Class A Winston-Salem thanks to his mid-90s fastball, curveball and slider. He ranked fourth on the A’s Top 10 Prospects list heading into the season.

De los Santos was part of a prospect-laden Stockton rotation when the season began. He went 2-2, 5.87 in four starts before being shut down after a solid start (5 innings, one run) on April 24. With de los Santos shut down, Henry Rodriguez promoted and Brett Anderson also on the disabled list, only Trevor Cahill remains in the current Ports rotation.

The typical recovery from Tommy John surgery takes around one year, which would put de los Santos back on the mound, barring setbacks, sometime around the middle of the 2009 season.