Johan Santana wasn’t about to try anything “crazy” on a bullpen mound yesterday at the Mets spring training complex. Just taking the ball with the temperature in the upper 40s and a howling wind might have seemed crazy enough.
In less than 10 minutes, Santana was done, having completed his first of many firsts this spring with a 20-pitch bullpen session. It marked Santana’s first appearance on a mound since being shut down last August because of fatigue.
“I don’t think it was my best or anything, but it’s Day 1,” Santana said. “You’ve got to start at some point, and today was the beginning for me.”
The 33-year-old Santana’s work will be scrutinized all spring as the Mets try to get the left-hander through a full season for the first time since 2008. Manager Terry Collins wants Santana on the mound for Opening Day, on April 1 against the Padres at Citi Field, and another 30-35 subsequent starts.
At least, for a change, Santana isn’t rehabbing from an injury. He spent this offseason resting, without the burden of a rehab routine to consider. This after spending the previous two winters rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.
Santana spent the winter after the 2008 season rehabbing from knee surgery and the following offseason he rehabbed from arthroscopic elbow surgery.
This offseason was mostly about letting the aches and pains subside, including the lower back stiffness that told the Mets to shut him down last August.
Santana’s season had been in a tailspin following his June 1 no-hitter against the Cardinals, in which he needed 134 pitches. Over his final 10 starts he had an 8.27 ERA and wasn’t helped by a disabled list stint necessitated by a sprained right ankle sustained when the Cubs’ Reed Johnson stepped on Santana’s foot as he covered first base.
Overall, Santana went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts, spanning 117 innings for the Mets last season.
Johan throws chilly 1st session off mound
New York Post | Feb 18