With an extremely competitive NL East and tight salary budget, the Mets chances for glory in 2012 are slight. That being said, there are still various things for fans to look forward to this coming season. One of those things is starting pitcher, Johan Santana.
When the Mets acquired Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins on February 2, 2008, they not only bolstered their starting rotation, but also added their first legit ace since God-knows-when. The southpaw certainly looked the part in his first season with the Mets, pitching to the tune of a 2.53 ERA (league-leading), 1.14 WHIP, and 3.27 K/BB. Santana placed third in the CY Voting–and even fourteenth in the MVP. And his success only continued.
For the first time in awhile, the Mets had a pitcher worth the ticket price. Santana didn’t disappoint in 2009 (3.13 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 3.17 K/BB) or 2010 (2.98 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 2.62 K/BB), but like so many good things, it had to end soon enough. In September of 2010, the left-handed pitcher endured a shoulder injury that resulted in rotator cuff surgery. Santana missed all of 2011 rehabbing, leaving a tremendous void atop the Mets rotation. Mike Pelfrey, who had hurled a 3.66 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and 1.66 K/BB in 2010, was tabbed as the “ace” of the 2011 Mets, but most certainly did not deserve it or produce like it (4.74 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 1.62 K/BB).
Going into Spring Training pre-2012, there has been a lot of talk as to whether Santana will be ready for Opening Day. The Mets feel he will be, so it’s only natural to get excited. Granted, it’s unrealistic to expect the former multiple Cy Young winner to instantly return to his high caliber ways, but on that same note, he’ll be a heck of a lot better than Chris Capuano (hopefully).