While New York Mets prospect Rafael Montero gave the team a glimpse of the future in shutting down the Washington Nationals during Saturday’s 3-1 Grapefruit League win, the franchise eagerly awaits the return of its ace of present.
At one point earlier in the offseason, there was hope Johan Santana could recover from shoulder surgery enough to start Opening Day. Now Mets general manager Terry Collins is stating what’s recently become obvious: It is “almost inevitable” that Santana will start the 2013 season on the disabled list, according to Newsday.
The rest of his team continues to prepare in spring training as, in the meantime, Santana throws from a mound half the major-league distance from home plate.
“I went through [surgery] a couple of years ago and I’m still here,” Santana said. “So I’m going to battle and try to come back and help as much as I can. When that is going to happen, I don’t really know. All I know is I have to work and make sure that I get back into pitching. … I’m making progress.
“It’s just I don’t know when I’m going to be pitching again. That’s the thing: We cannot think ahead. The way we’re approaching everything is every day, make sure we have a good day.”
Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history in June 2012, but hasn’t quite lived up to his prior form since being traded to the organization by the Minnesota Twins in 2008. While Santana did lead in the National League in ERA in 2008, he has not claimed a Cy Young award since doing so twice in Minnesota.