The New York Mets have been without their ace Johan Santana the entire season and the rotation has held their own, to say the least. With speculation surrounding a Santana return possibly in mid-August, which still remains a long shot at this point, many have wondered just who may be the odd man out in the rotation?
Well all the speculation and rumors may have just been ended before they had a serious chance to begin. According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, while the 32-year-old Santana has begun his spring training in Port St. Luice, the Mets and GM Sandy Alderson aren’t expecting the former two-time Cy Young award winner to make any contributions, at least not in 2011.
With the Mets still 7 1/2 games back in the wild card race and the rotation remaining the strong point of this team, as the lineup still waits for the returns of Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Ike Davis, I think this a case of the Mets being cautious and protecting their investment for the long term.
I think the Mets have gotten more than they could have ever expected from starters Chris Capuano as well as Dillon Gee who was seen as an afterthought in spring training as a serious threat to crack the rotation.
Combine those two hurlers with R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese, and Mike Pelfrey who has pitched much better of late, the Mets rotation is shaping up quite nicely, so unless this team can make a serious run in the next few weeks, I believe Santana will be held out as long possible.
I’m sure the Mets would like to get a few starts from Johan at some point this season, whether it’s in the heat of a wild card race or not, manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen perhaps more than anyone would like to see what Johan Santana can be going forward in his career as a New York Met.