The New York Mets are ready to begin the 2013 MLB season with Johan Santana on the shelf. The left-hander has not thrown off of a mound in two weeks, and it would be no surprise if he is put on the disabled list to begin the year.
Manager Terry Collins will not be announcing the starting rotation for another day or so, but he has already stated that Jonathan Niese will be the Opening Day starter, contrary to the call from fans to allow Matt Harvey that honor.
What the fans must realize is the simple fact that Harvey will have plenty of opportunity to start on Opening Day, but this may very well be Niese’s only chance.
For Santana, he continues to throw off flat ground and has improved, but will not have enough time to get stretched out in order to come north with the team. It would benefit the Mets to begin him on the DL, and give him ample opportunity to get fully healthy in order to have a quality season ahead.
As of now, the Mets are looking to go with Shaun Marcum, Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee after Niese, with Jeremy Hefner most likely getting the nod when the fifth spot comes up.
It doesn’t matter when Santana joins the club at this point. It may be safe to assume that most fans believe that Santana is washed up and will not be of any value to the club this season. That said, it would be better for Santana to join the club as soon as possible, pitch well, and for the Mets to maybe get a return for him at the halfway mark in a trade.
While that remains a long shot, it is a Mets mantra to believe. In Santana’s case, the only way to extend his career will be to have a solid year in Flushing and hope that another team will want him for 2014 or beyond.
“Rant” your views on Santana beginning the year on the DL, and his chances for a good year with the Mets.