It’s been all drama this spring for New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana. It’s been all drama and no pitching for the Mets ace, who has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game this spring.
The drama began when Santana arrived in Port St. Lucie, Florida for Mets camp and made rumblings that he wanted to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets front office was wise to quickly swash that idea, but as it turns out, Santana wouldn’t have been able to play anyway.
As spring training progressed, Santana continued to be absent from the mound. At one point, members of the Mets brass questioned whether Santana had come into camp prepared for spring training and with his arm in shape and ready to pitch. Fed up with all the talk about him, Santana threw an unscheduled bullpen session as a way to prove that his arm was strong enough and that he was on track to be ready for the start of the season.
Then came the news yesterday that Santana did not participate in the team workout, leading to speculation that he had an injury. As it turns out, Santana was receiving extra treatment on his arm, due to a lack of strength. Santana is now listed as day to day, and it’s now questionable whether he’ll be able to make his scheduled start on Thursday, which would be his first of the spring. Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen denies the possibility that this issue is related to Santana’s impromptu bullpen session, but there’s no way to prove that it wasn’t a factor. Now Warthen and the Mets staff are allowing Santana to due things at his own pace and take over his own schedule, which may have contributed to the current problems plaguing Santana.
What will the end result be? It’s still too soon to say, but it seems unlikely at this point that Santana will be able to start opening day for the Mets, and it’s getting increasingly unlikely that he will be able to be a part of the rotation at the beginning of the season. Even with the health concerns and uncertainty surround Santana’s arm, the situation has been made worse by the drama that Santana and the Mets have created this spring. The saga with Santana’s health and when he’ll pitch will eventually play itself out, but whether or not the unnecessary drama between Santana and the Mets will end soon is a whole other story.