Morning Mets Notes: Johan Santana, Frank Francisco Making Progress

By Matt Musico

There has been much to say about the status of both Johan Santana and Frank Francisco over the past week or so, with Johan’s spring debut being pushed back and Francisco being shut down. However, they were both working out on the field yesterday, experiencing some progress. There is still plenty of work to be done for these hurlers, but at this time, they are currently still on track to be ready by Opening Day.

Santana threw off flat ground yesterday since he’s staying off the mound for the time being, and Terry Collinsfelt he looked better than he did the last time he threw. In all honesty, I saw footage of Santana’s last bullpen before his spring debut was pushed back, and I thought he had no velocity. I know he doesn’t throw all that hard anymore, but I felt like he wasn’t able to put anything on the ball at all and needed more time before facing hitters. It looks like he’s on his way to getting ready for some game action, as he’ll need to start appearing in games by March 10th of 11th so he can get four starts under his belt before April 1st rolls around.

Feb 15, 2013; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana throws a pitch during spring training at Legends Field. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Francisco played catch with Terry Collins on flat ground from 60 feet yesterday, and felt good as both the swelling and discomfort have decreased in his right elbow. The plan is to have Frank Frank increase his tossing to 70 feet today, and once he can get to 150 feet, New York will try to get him back on the mound. At this point, he’s still projected to be active for their season opener against the San Diego Padres. In all reality, I’d be happy with Bobby Parnell having a great camp and stealing the closer job from Francisco, but from what Collins has said since workouts commenced in PSL, Francisco will have every opportunity to close (as long as he’s healthy) before exploring other options.

Danny Abriano delivered all of the Monday news before New York took to Tradition Field to face off against the Nationals, as we found out from Mets Police that Opening Day tickets are being sold for $39, not the $63 minimum that was publicized earlier this year. So, that’s definitely way cooler for anyone looking to make it to Citi to kick off the 2013 regular season. Meanwhile, Adam Rubin tweeted that Daniel Murphy is a couple days away from testing his intercostal strain by swinging a bat.

Did you miss last night’s game against the Nationals and want to get some of the highlights? You can see our recap on Rising Apple here. Before both Scott Rice and Robert Carson took the mound for the first time last night, I went through some of the remaining left-handed reliever options the Mets have to possibly pair with Josh Edgin once they break camp for the start of the regular season. I also talked about the interesting trade rumors behind the Mets and Giancarlo Stanton. Baseball Prospectus came out with their top 101 prospects list, as Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, and Michael Fulmer all made the list. Danny Abriano gave his opinion on each of the highly touted Mets prospects.

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