A rift could be growing between Johan Santana and the Mets, who claim the ace did not report to Spring Training in pitching shape.
“(The) arm seems to be fine, (he) just was not in pitching shape when he arrived,” Sandy Alderson reportedly texted Saturday to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Santana threw two bullpen sessions In February before being shut down with what the Mets called “fatigue in his left shoulder.” But based on what Alderson said, the fatigue seems to be in the rest of his body. Santana’s agent admits after a difficult 2012, the lefty took things easy this off season.
“He tried to rest physically and mentally and use spring training to get in shape,” Peter Greenberg said. “The goal was to be ready Opening Day or as close as possible. Mentally, as much as physically, he was burned out. He decided he needed a full break.”
For his part, Johan Santana said everything is okay. “I’m fine,” he said on Friday, before Alderson made his comments. “Stronger, working, getting my change-up, getting my whole body into pitching. Doing fine.”
Santana is still hoping to be ready to be the Opening Day starter, but right now that remains up in the air. Santana is doing some long tossing, but he has not pitched off of a mound again. Terry Collins has already said that Jonathon Niese would get the nod if Santana is not ready.
It will be interesting to hear Johan Santana’s reaction to this. He has been a good soldier during his time with the Mets, watching the Mets blow lead after lead for him (likely costing him the 2008 Cy Young Award) and never saying a word. But this could be the time he explodes.