A day after Johan Santana was charged with eight runs in 1 1/3 innings in his return from the DL, Terry Collins again stated he has no current concern about Santana's health. The manager added that Santana is fully expected to face the Nationals on Friday in D.C., on an extra day of rest because Monday is a team day off.
New York Mets
Collins said he has engaged in no conversations with team brass about shutting down Santana at some point this season in order to maximize the potential for the southpaw to contribute in 2013, when he is due to make $31 million (including a $5.5 million of his 2014 contract).
Collins has not fully ruled out cutting Santana's season short in September, although the manager also has floated using a sixth starter next month to ensure Chris Young and Santana get extra days of rest.
"I'm planning on certainly in five days seeing him back out there," Collins said about Santana.
• Collins indicated he considered starting Jason Bay against Ben Sheets, because Bay has a .400 career average in 30 at-bats against the right-hander (albeit with no meetings in the past four seasons). Still, in an indication the Mets have shifted at least somewhat into evaluations for 2013, Collins said he chose to start Jordany Valdespin in left field to continue to learn the "type of player he's going to be."
• Rob Johnson started two of three games in the series against the Braves, but Collins said there has not been a seismic shift in playing time behind the plate. Collins said he's giving Johnson a shot against Sheets because the catcher is 3-for-5 with two homers in his career against the ex-Brewer. A solid performance would lead to more playing time, though, at the expense of Josh Thole.