Johan Santana made his Spring debut with the Mets today after missing over a year with a torn anterior capsule injury.
Facing the Cardinals, Santana pitched 2 innings, allowing no runs on 1 hit, 1 walk, and no strikeouts. He tossed 29 pitches, 17 of which were strikes.
He struggled with his command, especially with his cutter. His fastball was around 87-88 MPH, touching 90 once, albeit on a pitch well out of the strikezone. During his time with the Mets, Santana’s velocity hasn’t been much better during early Spring Training games than that, so there may be room for improvement.
His changeup remained about 10 MPH slower than his fastball. If he can keep up that differential, he should be effective.
The most important takeaway from this game is that Johan’s shoulder appears to have made it through this test unscathed. Now we’ll see how well he recovers from this start, and how he will be able to ramp up his pitches and innings throughout March.