On the morning after, Johan Santana said he felt good and would throw a bullpen session tomorrow. Each day is another hurdle, and it isn’t a stretch to say tomorrow’s pen might be more important than yesterday’s start.
The Mets are already planning April’s rotation. There are two versions of it, one with Santana and one without. The one with Santana will be such that each start comes with an extra day of rest. With the off-days in April, that shouldn’t be difficult.
Santana threw mostly in the 87-88 range, but with more strengthening could boost that slightly. Important, however, was he maintained roughly a 10 mph. difference between his fastball and change-up.
* Reliever Pedro Beato has stiffness in his shoulder and will undergo a MRI.
* Outfielder Scott Hairston will be out for at least two weeks with a strained oblique muscle (he took a cortisone injection this week). It is very possible Hairston could open the season on the disabled list. As of now, Kirk Nieuwenhuis does not appear to be an option as a bench player.
Here’s today’s lineup against the Marlins:
Ruben Tejada, ss
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Justin Turner, 3b
Lucas Duda, rf
Josh Satin, 1b
Josh Thole, dh
Cesar Puello, lf
Mike Nickeas, c
Matt den Dekker, cf
Jon Niese, lhp
Note: Jose Reyes isn’t expected to play today, but could face his former team tomorrow.
On second thought, Scott Boras decided there’s no sense in biting the hand that feeds you. That’s why Boras texted Jeff Wilpon – what’s wrong with a phone call? – to say he wasn’t specifically talking about the Mets when he was quoted in The New York Times the other day.
BORAS: Damage control.
I didn’t say it was an apology.
Boras said: “When you’re seeing franchises in major markets not pursuing to the levels that the revenues and the fan base and the market provide, then I think you have an ethical violation of the game.”
Boras said he wasn’t directly talking about the Mets, but might as well have been.
The bottom line is Boras makes his money dealing with teams and is constantly searching for a market for his players. There have been times, and undoubtedly will again, where the Mets are that market.
Boras plays hardball at the negotiating table, and he’s been very successful. It made no sense for him to take a shot at the Mets. If anything, Boras should take aim at the new collective bargaining agreement, which will really sock it to the richer teams in the form of a harsher luxury tax in a few seasons. That’s why the Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner was talking the other day about cutting salary.
It won’t technically be a salary cap, but that’s really semantics and eventually baseball will get what it has always wanted.
ON DECK: Today’s lineup and notes.
This much I know about rib cage and oblique injuries: They tend to linger, and often until past when you think you’re healed.
WRIGHT: Playing it safe with their biggest chip.
First it was a couple of games. Now it is until next week. And, even that’s a little vague for when David Wright will return. If Wright is shut down for another week, so be it. The biggest deterrent for him not being ready by Opening Day is for the injury to be aggravated.
The last thing the Mets need is for this to drag on into the season and sap his production in the first half. Not only will it hurt the Mets on the field, but also reduces Wright’s value in the trade market. Don’t think for a moment that hasn’t crossed Sandy Alderson’s mind.
Johan Santana and the Mets couldn’t have asked for more in the lefty’s return to the mound to face major league hitters for the first time since Sept. 2010.
SANTANA: Looked good today in two solid innings. Kept that fire in check.
With a two-inning, 35-pitch limit, Santana threw free and easy, giving up a walk and hit in two shutout innings against the Cardinals. Manager Terry Collins said what’s next is to see how he responds in two days when the throws again.
Coming off shoulder surgery, Santana kept his competitive juices in check and didn’t give in to the temptation of overthrowing. He threw 29 pitches and touched the gun in the high 80s going with his fastball and circle change.
Santana said he “wouldn’t do anything crazy,” and that included staying away from breaking balls for now.
As they should, the Mets are taking the cautious approach with Ike Davis. He doesn’t have Valley Fever, but they are treating him as though he does.
DAVIS: Playing today.
Valley Fever produces pneumonia-like symptoms that make it difficult to breathe. This condition can be even more acute in Florida at this time of the year with the humidity and pollen.
At its absolute worse, Valley Fever can become fatal if the disease spreads from the lungs to the bloodstream. Davis has a cyst on his lung, but all tests have been negative.
Davis is in today’s lineup against the Cardinals, but Terry Collins said the first baseman would receive plenty of rest this spring.
Davis, who missed nearly five months last season with an ankle injury, reports no problem in that area.