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Saturday, September 10, 2011
Santana's next outing to be determined

By Mike Mazzeo

Where will Johan Santana make his next start?

Well, one thing seems certain: it won’t be for the Mets.

“There are no plans on seeing him here except to possibly get some work in,” Terry Collins said Saturday.

“He’s (at the mercy) of the minor league schedule. There’s no question about it. I’m hoping that either St. Lucie continues to win or Savannah gets in the finals to where we know that we’ll have a scheduled game next week when he can pitch. If not, you’ll probably see him here to pitch in a simulated game, if he’s capable of doing so.

Santana allowed one unearned run and two hits with one strikeout and one walk in three innings Friday night for Class A Savannah in his second rehab start since he resumed throwing.

“The gameplan has been to get him in some competitive situations where he finds out how he feels bouncing back from each and every outing,” Collins said. “(Sunday) I’m hoping that we hear that his recovery is fine and his long toss session is fine and he can get ready for whatever his next time pitching will be.”

Collins said Santana could be in his office begging to get a start with the Mets before season’s end, but he won’t let that happen “if we don’t think he’s ready to do it.”

“If I don’t think he’s ready to pitch, I’m not gonna pitch him,” Collins said.

The fear is that Santana could hurt his left shoulder again, given that his adrenaline would be pumping and his competitive edge would really kick in up in the majors.

“I’m really excited about his progress,” Collins said. “I think it’s great that he’s feeling better. We may get more out of the fact that he goes through instructional leagues and builds his pitch count and arm strength.”

Santana, who underwent Sept. 14, 2010 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, last pitched Saturday for Class A St. Lucie in the Florida State League. He tossed two innings, giving up three hits and one run. He had previously made a rehab start on July 29 for St. Lucie, throwing three scoreless innings, but was later diagnosed with left shoulder fatigue, which halted his progress.

• Collins doesn’t know if Jon Niese will be able to return before season’s end, “but it doesn’t look good in my opinion,” Collins said.

“I don’t have anything to base that on other than he’s not throwing yet,” Collins added.

Collins said Niese is doing a lot of rehab and “twisting and turning” but he hasn’t thrown yet.

Niese is currently sidelined with an intercostal strain.

• Collins said his closer on Saturday afternoon, should a save situation arise, will likely be Bobby Parnell.