If all goes well, Johan Santana may rejoin the New York Mets' rotation by late June. That's their hope, anyway.
Santana's season was cut short by surgery on his left shoulder in mid-September, and this is the first time the left-hander has started a year on the disabled list.
The two-time Cy Young winner began tossing from flat ground two weeks ago. General manager Sandy Alderson said team doctors have a plan projecting Santana throwing from a mound by April or early May and pitching in the majors less than two months later. Santana said he is "optimistic" his career will not be affected by the injury - it was a tear in the anterior capsule, which he said is not a common ailment.
"Injuries are part of the game," he said. "You never know when they are going to happen and how severe they will be and how they will affect your career. I am very optimistic. That's the way I am. I am going to do my best to get in the best shape and try to strengthen my arm, but time will tell." So far, Santana said he hasn't felt any pain since beginning to toss, only minor discomfort that is expected.
Santana shut things down after a Sept. 2 start last year. Any guess as to how distressing that would have been had he still been with the Twins as they chugged toward glory in their first year at Target Field?