Johan takes the mound, will start Opening Day

Yesterday afternoon in Port St. Lucie, New York Mets starter Johan Santana stepped on the mound for the first time since the club shut him down in August of last season with back inflamation.  As we all remember, Santana saw a significant drop in production following his historical n0-hitter on June 1st:

stats

Photo by Michael G. Baron

Photo by Michael G. Baron

With a full off-season to rest, Santana toed the bullpen rubber throwing a brief 20-pitch bullpen session, lasting just under ten-minutes, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Following his session, the former Cy-Young award winner pronounced himself fit and on track for the Opening Day start, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

This is my first time in a while, but it was fine. I don’t think it was my best or anything, but it’s Day 1. You’ve got to start at some point.You always worry about how you feel and everything, but at the same time I was just trying to get my job done and not trying to overdo things out there.”

A healthy Johan probably isn’t what most fans are expecting, but it would certainly be a welcome surprise.  Mets manager Terry Collins added the following, according to those who were there:


Terry Collins said Johan Santana’s first Grapefruit League appearance will be March 2. #mets
@AdamRubinESPN
Adam Rubin


Terry Collins said Johan Santana is penciled in to make first spring start March 2. Will throw 35-40 pitches. #Mets
@jorgeccastillo
Jorge Castillo


Was made clear today johan santana will start opening day, will NOT pitch in wbc (neither a surprise). #mets
@JonHeymanCBS
Jon Heyman

This is all good news for Mets fans and while it’s easy to remember how Santana faded towards the end of last season, we should also try to remember that he and R.A. Dickey combined to be one of the best one-two punches in all of baseball for the first few months of the 2012 season.

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