Mets ace Johan Santana faces another big hurdle today as he prepares to face batters for the first time since pitching in a fall instructional league game last year.
Santana will pitch live batting practice Thursday morning, and the magnitude of this step in his comeback from shoulder surgery is not lost on him or manager Terry Collins.
When asked if he had any apprehensions Santana just smiled and said, “I might be a little nervous when I throw the first pitch, so I hope the first batter doesn’t swing at it”, he joked. “I feel great…I’m ready for this.”
If all goes well today, Santana will toss a light bullpen session on Saturday before his next big test on Tuesday, when he’ll take the mound in a Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals at Digital Domain Park.
Santana hasn’t pitched in a major league game since September 2010, but Terry Collins expects him to be ready to start on Opening Day.
Here are the pitching assignments for the next five days including intrasquad games a...