Johan Santana pitched Friday in the instructional league in his Fort Myers, Fla., hometown as he continues to work back from Sept. 14, 2010 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.
Mets VP Paul DePodesta believes Santana's next scheduled instructional-league game with Mets minor leaguers will be next Friday.
DePodesta echoed Sandy Alderson's previous statement that Santana is not expected to pitch in winter ball in his native Venezuela.
Assuming Santana is healthy, the southpaw along with R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and arbitration-eligible Mike Pelfrey could fill out the 2012 rotation. Still, the Mets appear interested in re-signing Chris Capuano, which would be a hedge against Santana having renewed difficulties. With Santana healthy, Capuano returning could set up a battle between him and Gee for a rotation spot, with the other working out of the bullpen.