* Mike Pelfrey’s strained left leg has improved enough to where he’ll start Saturday against Washington. Pelfrey threw in the BP today and told reporters: “I felt it a little bit, but it’s a lot better. If it was the regular season and I had to pitch today, I would’ve.”
* Carlos Delgado got six hits in his first seven at-bats playing for Puerto Rico in the WBC.
* Jon Niese gave up a hit and a walk in four scoreless innings in a minor league game today. Niese is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.
* Outfielder Angel Pagan underwent arthroscopic surgery in New York to remove a bone spur from his right elbow and could be out as long as nine weeks. Pagan didn’t play last year after May 12 after injuring his shoulder when he fell into the stands in Los Angeles.
I wrote at the beginning of spring training Duaner Sanchez’s health was a key, that if he rebounded from shoulder surgery he could become a viable set-up reliever. He was hit hard in his first appearance and has done little to change the feeling impending doom.
Sanchez was released by the Mets after failure to reach 90 on the speed gun in Monday’s game against Baltimore. Sanchez gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. He’s walked six in five innings, an indication not only his speed is gone, but he velocity as well.
Said Minaya: “We looked at his overall performance based on last year to what we see now and we didn’t see the improvement we felt was needed to be effective in the major leagues.”
The beneficiary of Sanchez’s demise is Bobby Parnell.
Mike Pelfrey has a muscle strain in his lower left leg and will miss his next start. Pelfrey felt discomfort after throwing in the bullpen.
In two starts, Pelfrey has given up three runs on six hits. He was scheduled to pitch Monday against Baltimore.
SANTANA: Pitched BP today.
Johan Santana threw a 36-pitch bullpen session today and in on target to be ready for Opening Day.
Santana told reporters: “I pitched today with no problems in my elbow or my arm or anything, so I am fine, and at the same time I was working on my pitches and I was able to command it, so that’s what you want to see.
“For being my first time facing hitters, I think it was pretty good. Everything was there — breaking ball was there, my change up was there, my arm speed, my legs are there. That’s what you are looking for. You look for your legs to be there and to feel comfortable, and that’s how I felt.”
Barring a setback Santana could get in a minor league game this week.
Johan Santana will throw batting today, and if all goes well, five days after that he could throw in a minor league game.
Manager Jerry Manuel said it means Santana could be on track to pitch the “all important’’ Opening Day.
Meanwhile, Luis Castillo is experience tightness in his left hamstring and is day-to-day.
Ryan Church is expected to play this afternoon after missing two games with a bruised right knee.