Things just keep getting worse and not better on the Johan Santana front.
Andy Martino spoke to more than one team source and the consensus seems to be that Johan Santana will not be ready by Opening Day which totally wipes out Santana’s assertion that “he knows what he’s doing” and everything is okay. “I know the deal, spring training is for training okay!”.
The Mets’ private expectations for Johan Santana’s April 1 availability are even grimmer than their public line of “we’ll see.” Really, there is almost no chance that Santana avoids the disabled list at the beginning of the season, leaving the Mets in need of at least one additional starting pitcher — especially with Shaun Marcum still waiting to make his second Grapefruit League start.
Despite that, team insiders say it is almost certain that Jeremy Hefner, and not one of the options available outside the organization, will begin the year in the rotation. Other internal choices include Collin McHugh and Jenrry Mejia, but Hefner seems to have the edge.
Will Johan Santana be ready to take the ball on Opening Day?
It certainly doesn’t look that way from my perspective, and Joe D. may be right after all about Hefner who he has said on a few occasions to me, “I bet Heff’s the team’s number five.”
It’s looking like that right now.
More from PSL around 1 PM….
Originally Posted on 3/4 at 11:00 PM
What we have here is a failure to communicate. Or worse, a desire not to communicate.
Apparently, unbeknownst to manager Terry Collins, his veteran left-hander Johan Santana threw off the mound Sunday when the Mets earlier indicated it could be at least ten days before he would do so.ESPN reported this dialogue:
Collins: “What did you get on the mound for?”
Santana: “Because I felt good.”
Collins: “The last thing I need is to have you wake up tomorrow stiff and then we take a huge step backward because you wanted to show everybody you’re OK. I understand what you’re doing, but once in a while you’ve just got to let stuff slide away. You’ve just got to let it roll off your back and move on and get yourself ready.”
From that exchange, Collins was in the dark when Santana took the mound. And, Santana apparently didn’t care enough to follow the rest plan or to tell his manager.
This was amazingly ridiculous on the part of both.
First, as manager, how in the hell did Collins not know? It is a manager’s job to know everything that is going on with his team on all fronts. Everything. Do you think Joe Torre wouldn’t know? Do you think Tony La Russa wouldn’t know?
Secondly, Santana was incredibly selfish and stupid for risking his health just to prove criticism wrong. Pride is one thing, but pride for the sake of proving a meaningless point is simply reckless. If it would do any good, he should be fined. But, there’s nothing the Mets could do on that front that would affect Santana.
Thirdly, where was pitching coach Dan Warthen during all of this? A pitching coach should know at all times the work schedules for his pitchers. Rick Peterson and former pitching coach Guy Conti had it down to how many pitches they threw in the bullpen.
What about bullpen coach Ricky Bones? Ooops, I almost forgot, he was packing for the World Baseball Classic.
The Mets have not yet ruled out Opening Day, which is absurd because Santana would be rushed through no more than four starts when he would normally get six. This is begging for trouble. I can almost hear it now.
Collins is a lame duck manager who didn’t win any points by being unaware of something so important to the Mets. As for Santana, I don’t want to hear anymore about what a pro he is or about being a competitor. A real pro wouldn’t risk his health.
Of course, the perception eventually comes down to is Santana will make $31 million this year, including a buyout, so why should he care?
There’s a reason why the Mets are called amazing, and often it is because of stuff like this.