Mets fans looking for a sliver of good news these days…..Here it is. This morning in Port St. Lucie, Johan Santana threw off the mound for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow in August. Johan threw 24 pitchesver about a six minute span. I know it is only January and this is just the first step in Santana’s return to the mound for the Mets but let’s all take a deep breath and go…… ahhhhhh.
Here is a little of what Johan had to say when he spoke to reporters yesterday after arriving at the Mets mini-camp:
“At this point I feel way ahead of what I was last year at this point. Definitely. There’s no question about it. I can’t wait to be out in spring training and see where we’re at to put everything together for Opening Day.”
Remember, Santana had a scare in spring training last year when he experienced triceps tendonitis after a mound session. He was able to start the opener in Cincinnati but you just had the feeling he wasn’t quite right the entire season. His elbow surgery and subsequent acknowledgment that his health was a factor from day one of spring training confirmed those feelings. A healthy Johan is obviously the single most important factor surrounding the Mets chances at a 2010 revival.
The next question is who might the organization be trying to import to follow Santana in the Mets starting rotation? If a report from Adam Rubin in today’s Daily News is to be believed, the Mets are serious about bringing in 42-year old John Smoltz to fill that role. If they do this, Omar Minaya should be fired on the spot. Seriously? John Smoltz? The guy was cut by the Red Sox last year and was avewrage after latching on with St. Louis.
You know my feelings about who I’d like to see the Mets add to the pitching mix. I want Ben Sheets in the fold but according to Jon Heyman of SI.com, it appears as if Sheets is being more heavily pursued by Texas and Oakland at this point. Other options at this point for the Mets include Jon Garland and Jarrod Washburn. I’d be happy with either one of those guys, but the possible rewards a healthy Sheets could bring would be too much for me to pass up if I were in charge. Sadly, it is not I but Omar Minaya and the Wilpons who are in charge