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JOHAN SANTANA FACED HITTERS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE INJURY
Wed, 07 Mar 2012 01:12 PM EST

Third baseman David Wright spotted teammate Johan Santana on Field seven at the N.Y Mets’ spring-training facility, as the left-hander was readying to face batters for the 1st time since autumn. Baseball scores

Santana proceeded to throw 40 pitches to Mets hitters, including Wright, Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy during 2 simulated innings.

It was Santana’s 1st time in a game-like setting since being cease for winter rest following late-September action versus Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins minor leaguers in the instructional league in Fort Myers, Fla, where he lives.

“It’s just spring training. That is the way I’m approaching everything,” he explained. “It’s yet another spring coaching trying to get ready, doing the things I used to do, and don’t make an attempt to do anything silly. … Today I was looking how my arm feels pitch after pitch with more power, and also how I get over one inning to another more than anything. And being able to throw all my pitches is what I was looking for.”

Santana, who didn’t show up in the majors last season, is trying to come back from surgical treatment he had September 14, 2010, to mend a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Football scores

He is scheduled to make his 1st Grapefruit League towards the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen claimed Santana will throw 2 innings in the exhibition game, with his appropriate pitch count in the 25- to 35-pitch range. Manager Terry Collins plans for Santana to start Opening Day, April 5, against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

Still, Collins acknowledged, how Santana’s shoulder recovers – and whether he can pitch each 5th day through spring training and into the season – still a big unanswered question.

“I’m positive he’s not throwing his Opening Day stuff, just like we are not hitting our Opening Day at-bats too,” Davis expounded. “But his changeup was nasty. I kind of broke my bat. His fastball, he threw it by me. And he was hitting his spots. It does not look like he had any trouble. No pain. It’s an excellent thing.”

Regardless, Warthen noted that most pitchers – Santana involved – see a bump in velocity of one mile per hour or two miles per hour when they move from a back field to a Grapefruit League game. There’s even more adrenaline and more speed gained from the 1st exhibition start to the 1st regular-season outing – generally another two miles per hour to three miles per hour, according to Warthen.

Warthen asserted Santana was throwing strongly on flat place at distances of at least 240 feet leading into the batting-practice session, an indication Santana is assured in his shoulder’s health.

“Leaving spring training, most everybody is going to gain a couple of miles per hour,” Warthen announced. “As soon as you go into a night game, you get 40,000 folk, you immediately do that… So I think he is exactly where he must be right now.”

As for his purpose, Santana recounted: “That I’ll throw my 2 innings free of any issue, and I should be well placed to come back for my next outing. That’s what I’m hunting for. That is the procedure that I’d like to go thru — build up from one begin to a different and see if I’m in a position to recover so I am able to go back again 5 days later.”


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