Santana Savannah-bound, Duda to VZ

The decision on whether Johan Santana ought to appear in the majors this season can be deferred.

Savannah reached the South Atlantic League championship series, and plays Game 3 at home on Thursday. So Terry Collins confirmed the intention is for Santana to pitch four innings in a rehab game that day.

Santana pitched three innings for the Sand Gnats on Friday, in his second rehab start since resuming game action following shoulder discomfort.

Lucas Duda

Lucas Duda

#21 1B
New York Mets

2011 STATS

  • GM91
  • HR9

  • RBI46

  • R33

  • OBP.348

  • AVG.281

WINTER PLANS: Lucas Duda intends to play winter ball in Venezuela, likely for Tim Teufel-managed Caracas, even though the organization is not asking him to do so. Collins said the team’s position is that Duda has experienced a heavy workload in his first full major league season and does not need to tax himself more. But Duda informed the organization he wants to continue to learn right field to come to spring training more prepared next season.

Meanwhile, despite Collins recently floating Pedro Beato working as a starting pitcher in winter ball to set up a possible look in that role next year, the right-hander said he will remain home in New York this offseason.

Beato said he has pitched for 20 straight months because he was working out with a Dominican Winter League team last offseason, so his arm needs time to recuperate.

PENNED UP: Chris Schwinden will sit in the bullpen on Sunday night for the first time since Friday’s major league debut as a starter. The only plans to use Schwinden going forward are if a starting pitcher gets knocked out early and the Mets need a long reliever.

Collins is concerned Schwinden is gassed after having his heaviest workload as a professional this season. The manager noted Schwinden was throwing 86-87 mph in his major league start, whereas he routinely threw 92 mph in the minors this year.

Collins did allow that Schwinden’s lower velocity also could be attributable to tensing up in his major league debut. Schwinden agreed that was the cause. “Just nerves,” he said.

STILL SIX: Jason Bay has a nine-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .452, but there are no plans to move him up from No. 6 in the order, even with the Mets seeing three left-handed starting pitchers in the next series, a four-game set against the Washington Nationals. Collins said that has nothing to do with Bay’s performance. It’s because moving up Bay would line up left-handed hitters below him that would make it easy for the opposing manager to summon a southpaw reliever to face multiple hitters.