TC aims for Johan to start Opening Day

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
1:33
PM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If Johan Santana is ready to go, and Terry Collins does not expect otherwise, Collins tenatively intends for the southpaw to start on Opening Day, April 1 against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.

"My guess is that's what it'll be," Collins told ESPNNewYork.com.

After throwing the first no-hitter in New York Mets history last June 1, Santana produced an 8.27 ERA over his next 10 starts before being shut down in August with lower-back inflammation. He allowed at least six earned runs in each of his final five starts -- a streak one shy of matching the live-ball-era record, set by Willie Blair with the Detroit Tigers in 1999.

Collins said he is convinced Santana's swoon last season before landing on the DL was related to fatigue. Santana had rehabed through the previous winter trying to return from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder.

"No question," Collins said. "He said he feels great, and he said the rest has really made a difference."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .298
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .827
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180