Mets Andres Torres to Disabled List

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05:  (L-R) Andres Torres ...

The Mets had a great opening day with Johan Santana looking good for five innings of shutout ball. The pre-game ceremony celebrating the life of Hall of Famer Gary Carter was bittersweet, bringing back some great memories of the 80’s teams. But things went awry in the seventh inning when Andres Torres left the game with a calf strain and immediately went on the disabled list.

The problem is that center field is a position that the Mets are extremely thin at. The most likely scenario is that Kirk Nieuwenhuis joins the big league team. He missed a lot of time at Buffalo last year with a shoulder injury. And he’s been working out at Port St. Lucie instead of going to Buffalo with the rest of the team. If healthy, he’s the best option to play center field for a couple of weeks until Torres gets back. Maybe he’ll shine and take over the job and not give it back to Torres.

Scott Hairston is the backup center fielder. But he’s definitely not an everyday center fielder. He could fill in for a game or two here or there but he’s shaky in the outfield. You don’t want him out there everyday for two weeks.

Mets Johan Santana to Start Opening Day 2012

Johan Santana
Johan Santana (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Mets manager Terry Collins announced the 2012 rotation this morning. I have to say that I’m happily surprised that Johan Santana will start opening day on Thursday at Citi Field. I know there are no expectations for this team. But having Santana out there on opening day is huge.

Santana will be followed in the rotation by R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey, and Dillon Gee.

I’m still not expecting much this season but Santana pitching every five days makes this team much more interesting to me. Does this news give you any hope for the 2012 season?

Video: Mets Johan Santana on Fifth 2012 Spring Start

Johan Santana
Johan Santana (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Johan Santana didn’t start well for the Mets yesterday but his line didn’t end up looking too bad. He started the game by walking three of the first four batters he faced and giving up a hit. But he regained control and ended up pitching 5 complete innings and giving up 2 runs. More importantly, he threw 88 pitches.

Yesterday was Santana’s fifth start of the spring and he’s been throwing regular bullpen sessions in between. And there haven’t been any reports of pain or stiffness in his surgically repaired left shoulder.

Barring a setback, I would think that Santana will on the Mets opening day roster next week. He certainly appears ready for game action if he’s been stretched out to 88 pitches. Maybe the Mets will want to be extra careful and have him make a start or two at Buffalo. But the cold weather in April in Buffalo might not be the best place for him to be.

Video: Johan Santana On Facing Live Hitters

Johan Santana
Johan Santana (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Yesterday Mets ace Johan Santana faced live hitters in batting practice for the first time this spring. He pitched two simulated innings and looked pretty good. Several of the hitters remarked that his stuff looked excellent. The plan from here is for Santana to start on Tuesday against Carlos Beltran’s Cardinals and continue to monitor how he’s doing to see how he feels.

If he continues to progress and feel good on the day after he pitches, it would be great to see him start building strength and stamina in his arm with an eye towards pitching early in the regular season.

I continue to believe that the Mets season is highly dependent on how quickly Santana can return from shoulder surgery. I don’t think they’re a playoff team even with Santana. But the season could become a complete disaster without him including the possibility of 100 losses which we haven’t seen here since ’93.

Video: Johan Santana in the Bullpen Again

English: Johan Santana
Image via Wikipedia

The Mets had Johan Santana back in the bullpen again today for 73 pitches. He looked good as you can see by the video below and, presumably, he felt good too. The best news is that he’s throwing regularly. This is his third session since getting to PSL. And he just threw in the bullpen on Thursday.

The plan is for Santana to start a game a week from Tuesday. But pitching coach Dan Warthen thought that Santana needed to make some adjustments after today’s session. He told the media that Santana needs to straighten up to pitch on more of a downward plane.

Check out the video from Newsday. Santana looks like he’s throwing close to 100%.

Video: Johan Santana’s Comeback from Shoulder Surgery

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JULY 24:  Johan Santana #5...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Here’s some video from ESPN’s Baseball Tonight on Johan Santana’s comeback from shoulder surgery. Santana threw another bullpen session today and he’s scheduled for another on Thursday, if he feels good.

Today Terry Collins made some comments to the media that he’s hopeful that Santana could be ready for opening day. That would be quite a surprise to everyone. I’d expect to see him around mid-season. It remains to be seen what he’s got left in that shoulder when he does come back though.

Notice the comment by Karl Ravech in the video about people joking that the Mets could lose 100 games this season. Ouch…

2012 Mets Pitchers and Catchers Reporting Date

Johan Santana
Johan Santana (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

The Mets pitchers and catchers have to report to Port St. Lucie by tomorrow and have their physicals on Tuesday. There isn’t a lot of intrigue this year given the team’s dire financial situation. But the one pitcher that everyone will be keeping an eye on is Johan Santana. He missed all of last season recovering from surgery on his left shoulder and there are still major questions about when he can come back. And there are even bigger questions about how effective he’ll be when he does come back. The good news is that Santana only has two years left on his deal with the Mets plus a team option for 2014. I never thought that I’d be counting down the days until Santana’s contract ended.

There are some new faces in the bullpen this year. Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, and Frank Francisco will be the newly acquired back of the bullpen. Tim Byrdak will be back as the lefty specialist. D.J. Carrasco might find himself back in the minors again if he can’t keep it together.  Carrasco might be pitching along side Pedro Beato at Buffalo this season. Beato started hot last season but ended dreadfully. He’s available to send back to the minors now that the Mets got past his Rule 5 season. Continue reading “2012 Mets Pitchers and Catchers Reporting Date”