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Johan Santana may or may not start Opening Day

Mar 17, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

New York Mets Photo Day Getty Images

Mets manager Terry Collins implied earlier this month that he planned on Johan Santana starting Opening Day against the Braves on April 5, saying “in my mind, in my heart, he’ll be ready.” Or at least that’s what we thought he meant.

Collins clarified his comments yesterday, telling Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that he feels Santana will be with the team on Opening Day, but not necessarily as the starting pitcher. The rehabbing left-hander is being lined up for the season opener, but the team wants to leave the door open in case he needs extra rest.

“I have not decided who is pitching Opening Day,” Collins told The News on Friday. “Now, my point is, right now, as we get through spring training, we may have to make adjustments. If Johan is, ‘Hey, look, I’ll be ready,’ but maybe he needs to pitch game two or game three or game four, we will adjust.”

Santana allowed five runs — four earned — over 2 2/3 innings yesterday against the Tigers, but was regularly hitting 90-91 mph on the radar gun and didn’t have any issues with his surgically repaired shoulder. Heck, if someone told you a month ago that Santana would be healthy enough to start the season on the active roster, they would have been met with immediate skepticism. So the fact that this is even a story at this point is pretty encouraging.
  1. dondada10 - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    I’m excited that Santana might be ready for Opening Day. The start should go to R.A. Dickey, though. He’s the best on the staff.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Speaking of the Konqueror of Kilimanjaro, what’s doing with him these days? How can you not love this guy?

  2. xmatt0926x - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Did Collins then go on to imply that Santana was a wimp for not pitching through his injury?? He’s a tough guy, that Colllins is….

    • dondada10 - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      He blamed Santana’s soreness on Ruben Tejada’s inability to arrive to camp early.

  3. firstandonlywarning - Mar 17, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    A healthy Santana at this point is just an average pitcher at best. The expectations of him by the average fan are amusing.

    • ptfu - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      The Mets could use average pitchers. The team will be happy to get that out of anyone, especially if it’s Santana. Low expectations mean you take what you can get.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Mar 17, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    At least he’s holding the ball in his hand and NOT in his mouth in this picture.

  5. premiumpit - Mar 17, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Knowing the mets…They will find a way to turn this into a mess…lol

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