You can believe what you want about whether or not Johan Santana will make a triumphant return to the mound on Opening Day for the Mets, and you can hang on to your doubts that he’ll ever be what he once was. But Santana is tuning you out. He’s locked into his own plan and his own vision and whether you believe in him or not hardly matters to him because he believes in himself.
After another successful bullpen session today, the Mets ace pronounced himself ready for his next start on Sunday against the Marlins.
“I was able to throw my bullpen without any problems and with good intensity and work on all my pitches,” Santana said. “And I felt pretty good.”
Santana plans to work three innings in his next start and he is ready for the challenge.
“That will be the goal, to go up to three innings and build up from there,” Santana said. “We’ll see how it goes. I’ve been fine. Yesterday I played catch. No problems. Today same thing. No problems. I was able to throw my bullpen. So that’s a good sign. Hopefully the next couple of days I’ll recover and get ready for Sunday.”
Santana said he plans to throw his slider more after focusing on his fastball in his last start against the Cardinals when he tossed two scoreless innings.
He just keeps coming at you, and while everyone keeps bracing for a setback or some bad news, all this warrior does is he keeps on throwing and building arm strength and sticking to the plan. And the plan is to be the Mets Opening Day starter.