March 21, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana (57) against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Mets have finally made it official: Johan Santana is starting on Opening Day. While naming an Opening Day starter is typically somewhat of a formality, this announcement is what the Mets and their fans were hoping for all winter.
Throughout spring training, Santana's velocity was mostly in the upper eighties, touching ninety-to-ninety-one on a few occasions. It seems fairly likely that'll average something like the 89.4 mph fastball that he threw in 2010. At the time, it was the lowest mark of his career, but Santana still managed to pitch 199 innings with a 2.98 ERA, 3.54 FIP, and 4.13 xFIP. That last part might be more concerning if Santana hadn't far outperformed his xFIP in each of his three seasons with the Mets.
What's important for now, however, is that Santana had no setbacks in his spring work, and he's going to pitch on Thursday. After he had his shoulder surgery at the end of the 2010 season, there was simply no guarantee that Santana would return to the mound for the Mets. But he will, and that's awesome.