It is not surprising that GM Sandy Alderson indicated today it is “less and less likely,’’ Johan Santana
would be ready for Opening Day.
Alderson attributed that to Santana not being in good shape when he reported to spring training because he didn’t go through his normal off-season routine after extensive rehabbing the previous two winters.
“From my standpoint, his arm is fine, as far as we know,’’ Alderson told reporters. “Was he ready to pitch when he came into camp? No. Even he may have been a little surprised by that.
“So that leaves us where we are today. And where we are today is getting him ready to pitch as soon as we possibly can. We haven’t rule out Opening Day, although given when we think he might get on the mound, it becomes less and less likely. We haven’t given up on that notion yet. And we’ll see where it takes us.’’
The Mets are kidding themselves in thinking Santana has a chance to make the Opening Day start because he hasn’t thrown off the mound since Feb. 19.
Jonathan Niese will start if Santana opens the season on the disabled list. In that scenario, ESPN reports the earliest Santana could start would be the sixth game of the season.
Marcum and Hawkins have been working in the bullpen to build up their arm strength. Feliciano, who has a heart ailment, was cleared to resume throwing, and will wear a heart monitor.
TODAY’S GAME: The 8-8 tie with Miami reminded me that there was a time when they played extra innings during spring training.
I don’t know when they stopped, but I remember a story that Pete Rose got his break during a long extra-innings game in which he made an impression with several extra at-bats.
I am sure he’s not the only one. There’s no telling who might have had a chance to shine if the game lasted a few more innings.
The game sure has changed.
Even so, two Mets in particular left the game with a good taste in their mouths.
The first was Matt Harvey, who gave up a leadoff homer to Chris Yelich, then settled in for 2.2 solid innings.
The second was Lucas Duda, who homered and hit an opposite-field double. Manager Terry Collins was more impressed with the latter because it reflected positively on alterations he made with his stance.
Going the opposite way is vital for Duda, because it shows patience and means shortening his stroke. Statistically, this should lead to reduced strikeouts and more walks, thereby adding to his on-base percentage.
Duda will open the season in left field, which, at Citi Field is easier to handle than in right.