The New York Mets haven’t had many good days lately. They had a good day on Tuesday though. It was the first official workout for the pitchers and catchers. Terry Collins declared that Johan Santana will be ready for opening day. That right there is good news. Santana threw a 29 pitch bullpen session today. Mets manager Terry Collins said he will make his first start of the spring on March 5th.
Santana told reporters that they didn’t have a radar gun on him but he felt the ball was coming out of his hand very well. He would not say if he will be ready to be the teams opening day starter. Here is what he did say “Hopefully toward the end of spring we’ll have a better idea if I can be there.” He says that right now the goal is to work back, stick to the plan and be patient. “I’ve been through a lot the last couple of years. It’s exciting to be back on the field.”
It is good news because he is there big pitcher. If he is healthy he is their number one starter. There is no one that knows how he will bounce back from his injuries though. The thing about Santana is he is a competitor and a smart pitcher. I wouldn’t bet against him being able to figure out something on the mound to get hitters out as long as he is healthy.
Terry Collins said he expects Daniel Murphy to be his starting second baseman heading into the regular season. He said the competitions this spring will be in the bullpen, backup catcher and on the bench. He said the Mets are better then people think even though they may have the youngest roster. He said it is New York but it remains important that there is patience as the home grown talent develops. Collins thinks Ruben Tejada has a chance to be a special player. He thinks it is important both for the team and the fans for the Mets to get off to a fast start.
He likes the bullpen additions that the Mets made in the winter. He thinks the new dimensions at Citi Field should be a mental lift for the offense. He would like to have a second lefty in the bullpen. Mookie Wilson is staying in the Mets organization as a roving minor league instructor.
I personally don’t know how you can expect much from this team. The Mets are in a very tough division and they just aren’t that good. Is it possible for Jason Bay to bounce back finally and show what he used to be. It is possible but not likely although he should get a boost from the new dimensions in Citi Field. Can Santana be the ace he used to be, I guess it is possible but not likely. If that happens then that would really help the Mets. Can the Mets bullpen be good? It can be better but they still need to see who the closer will be and who will be effective in that role. The offense can be pretty good but they need to stay healthy. Murphy, Wright, Davis are all good offensive players. Bay can be a good offensive player and Thole isn’t a bad hitting catcher. The question is will Tejada every turn into a decent hitter, will Andres Torres be good for the Mets, is Lucas Duda a guy who will hit for power and be pretty good in the majors?? If the Mets have a lot of these answers become positive then maybe they can be competitive and better then people think. It is a big if though with all those questions. The Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals all appear to be better, time will tell though. The talking has to be done on the field and the Mets will have a chance to prove everyone wrong.