Updated on 3/3
As most of us expected, Johan Santana has shown up to camp and is none too happy about being the center of attention this morning according to Andy Martino of the Daily News.
A displeased Santana had this to say to reporters, “What is spring training for? Training.”
While true, spring training is for training, Santana hasn’t trained or thrown a pitch off a mound since February 19.
Adam Rubin adds that a day after Sandy Alderson suggested it could be 10 days until Johan Santana stepped on a mound, “the southpaw decided to do so Sunday morning.”
It looks like those comments may have given Santana some extra motivation to get back to pitching – especially after concerns about his conditioning were leaked last night – and not in a good way.
This “non-story” is the “big story” in Mets camp today.
Look for some player reactions to start surfacing… And I expect Collins to speak on this some more at some point today or tomorrow, if only to try and squash it.
More to come…
Original Post 3/2
The team has found no soundness issues with his arm, beyond him not being ready to go. He’s working hard now so he won’t miss his Opening Day start, which is in jeopardy.
“The arm seems to be fine, he just was not in pitching shape when he arrived,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said by text.
The Mets were surprised Santana wasn’t in pitch shape, and couldn’t quite understand why Santana thought he could pitch for Venezuela in the WBC when they determined he wasn’t ready to throw for them.
Wow, now this is quite the situation we have here. What does Santana have to say about this? Nothing yet, but his agent Peter Greenberg told Heyman the following:
“He tried to rest physically and mentally this winter and use spring training to get in shape. The goal was to be ready by Opening Day or as close as possible. Mentally, as much as physically, he was burned out. He decided he needed a full break.”
You may recall that I tried on more than a few occasions to get some sort of status on Santana ‘s health this offseason, but got nowhere. Something seemed odd to me about the situation. When Santana didn’t even show up at the New York BBWAA Dinner where he was supposed to be the guest of honor, I knew something was amiss. But honestly, I had no idea it was anything like this.
Now that we have a little more information to go on, my first reaction is to say that I’m very disappointed in Santana – a Met whom I’ve always admired and had great respect for.
Considering the size of his paycheck and the fact that he’s been resting and recuperating since last August, his state of unpreparedness is quite inexcusable to me. Maybe that’s wrong of me to say, but I can’t hide my feelings on the matter.
This was supposed to be the first Spring in five years that Santana was coming to camp healthy and without any offseason surgery. It was supposed to be the Spring where he showed up to camp in the best shape since he became a Met. The fact that he showed up out of shape and ill-prepared is completely unacceptable.
“A fatigued left shoulder” after tossing barely 100 pitches since arriving to camp? A “lack of arm strength” and it’s only March 2nd?
What irks me most is that he did this knowing full well that the Mets had traded R.A. Dickey this offseason, and that the team would be relying on him more than ever before.
Forget the fact that Jonathan Niese may or may not get the Opening Day start if he isn’t ready to pitch – that’s not the damned point and it’s the furthest thing from my mind right now.
Santana has to man-up and tell us what happened here.
He owes it to the New York Mets, who are paying him a king’s ransom.
He owes it to Sandy Alderson and the front office, who have been blindsided by the situation.
He owes it to Terry Collins and his teammates, who expected veteran leadership from the undisputed ace of the team.
But most of all, he owes it to the fans, who have always given him unquestioned support and deserved better from him than this.
This situation is totally unacceptable.