WASHINGTON -- New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana allowed a run on three hits while striking out two and walking none in a 30-pitch effort over two innings Saturday afternoon with Class A St. Lucie. It marked Santana's first game action since shoulder discomfort arose days after a July 28 rehab start with that Florida State League club.
Assuming no issues arise with Santana, he is due to pitch another minor league game next Friday that should include three innings and 45 to 50 pitches. The location will be determined based on which Mets affiliates are playing postseason games that day between qualifiers St. Lucie, Brooklyn and Savannah.
The Mets continue to maintain Santana may very well start a game for the major league team before the season ends. Santana is trying to return from Sept. 14, 2010 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.
"All it would be is it would ease a lot of minds -- ours and his -- that's he's healthy instead of sitting all winter long and waiting to see what happens with his arm in spring training," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Still, the manager added that he no longer is as eager to see Santana in a major league uniform during the final week or so of the season. Collins said the reason for his mindset shift is a growing confidence Santana will be fine for 2012.
Said Collins: "A while ago I was really pretty much set at, 'Hey, look, I think it would be great for you to pitch so we can have an idea.' But I know he's feeling so much better again. I'm pretty confident that even if he doesn't pitch this year for us, he'll come to spring training ready."
Collins said he is not keen on Santana pitching in winter ball in Venezuela. There are no firm plans for that anyway. Collins said Santana will be in Miami when the Mets open a series in Miami on Monday and the two can chat about the merits of winter ball and other topics.
"That would only be because he wants to face some hitters, and he wants to make sure his shoulder is OK," Collins said. "I don't think there's a lot of value in it. I concern myself sometimes with the condition of the mounds. Certainly he would dictate down there in the winter-ball situation when he's going to pitch and how much he's going to pitch. I'd caution him to make sure he's in the right spot if he wanted to do something like that."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.