Johan Santana has proved he is ready for Opening Day with the Mets

It’s that time of year baseball fans, Opening Day. Just gotta love the smell of hot dogs, beer, and EXCITEMENT. Well in this case if you are a New York Mets fans. The Mets have been known as a franchise on the decline ever since they moved into their new stadium Citi Field in 2009. This year for the Mets will be a new year of excitement because of the youth but especially the return of Johan Santana, the ace of the New York Mets and potential CY Young candidate ever single year.

After throwing an intensive bullpen session Saturday, Santana told Collins: “You’ve got your pitcher for Thursday.” Still, Collins waited until a Sunday morning meeting with pitchers to affirm the rotation order.

R.A. Dickey will start Game 2, followed by Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee.

Santana has thrown no more than 88 pitches in any Grapefruit League game, and Collins said the southpaw likely would not exceed 95 pitches in April. At least six of Santana’s first seven starts will be on an extra day of rest because of team off-days.

“It means everything that we have done since I had my surgery, all the way to today, has been paid off,” Santana said. “We worked hard. And I’m very happy. I’m very happy that I have an opportunity to start the season from Day 1 with the team.”

Now that the pitching is getting some depth. The keys to that rotation in case of injury will be Miguel Batista, who is listed as the long  reliever, on the opening day roster and Chris Young who just signed a minor league deal with the Mets a few weeks ago. Last year, Young went 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 4 starts for the Mets against big teams including the Phillies. If he can get back to last years form, the Mets might have a shot at the Wild Card this season.

Overall, I really like what the Mets have this season and I think Johan Santana will pitch 200 innings and he will win 15 games this season. You may be saying to yourself,  this kid is crazy??? Well, the reason is because Johan has changed his delivery. He will be using more of his shoulder than his elbow this year with a more upright stance. While that may lose a lot of velocity, it also gives him a chance to use a lot of other pitches and make that change up even better. Not only that, but when Terry Collins said Johan’s shoulder is pure muscle when camp started, I believed him.

This year is a new year for Santana and he is adjusting to his new pitching style. Trust me, he won’t strike out 10 batters a game but he will pitch 8 innings and strike out 3 while keeping that pitch count low. As you get older you learn that pitch count is more important than the actual pitches. He will get a lot more groundballs and he will work early into the counts. Trust me folks, Johan is fine and this year is a big year for him. It all starts with April 5th in Queens. Let’s make the magic happen. You’ve gotta believe!

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