Johan Santana, making his first appearance at Mets training camp, yesterday divulged the team planned all along last season to cut his campaign short.
“At some point, I knew that they were going to stop me, because that was the plan that they had from the beginning,” Santana said. “We just didn’t know when. Toward the end, we decided that was enough.”
The Mets shut down Santana for the season last Aug. 23, after he got roughed up in two starts (Aug. 11 against the Braves and Aug. 17 at Washington) following a three-week stay on the disabled list. A combination of lower back inflammation, a right ankle sprain and left shoulder weakness left him with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts totaling 117 innings. Santana had missed the entire 2011 season due to major surgery on his left shoulder.
Santana said he’s still hoping to pitch for Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but the Mets can block that since Santana finished the season on the disabled list, and there’s every expectation the Mets will exercise that right and keep Santana in Mets camp.
“I would love to play for my country, but a lot of things would have to go right,” said Santana, who added he will start throwing off a mound in the next couple of days. “We’d all have to be on the same page.”
* Manager Terry Collins gave top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler little chance of breaking camp with the team if the Mets’ five starters remain healthy.
“As we sit here today, we have five starters,” Collins said. “[Wheeler] wants to be on the staff, ‘Go be the best pitcher in Triple-A, force us to call you up,’ and that will put him in that situation.”
* Ruben Tejada is the manager’s top choice to handle leadoff duties. But Collins also liked the fact the Mets had success with Mike Baxter in that spot for a stretch last season.
Mets ace Santana knew of shutdown
New York Post | Feb 13