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Thursday, February 23, 2012
Santana throws again, eyes batters

By Adam Rubin

Johan Santana threw his third bullpen session since arriving at spring training, and was pleased he could do so after only one day of rest. Santana threw a 32-pitch session, after previous sessions Tuesday and last Friday of lesser volume.

The final six pitches Thursday were with ramped up intensity, Santana said, because he was trying to mimic more of a game-type situation.

His next bullpen session -- Terry Collins thought it would be Saturday, Santana believed Sunday -- will even more resemble a game. Santana will throw pitches, sit down to replicate a half-inning with the Mets at-bat, then continue throwing to simulate two innings’ workload.

“I feel good. That’s another bullpen session where I felt a little bit of improvement,” Santana said. “Especially coming after a couple of days ago throwing a bullpen session, now a day off and then bullpen again, I feel really good.

“The consistency from the first pitch all the way to the last one is there. I’m not trying to change anything, and I’m just keeping my mechanics and trying to stay with everything that I used to do on the mound. And everything is there. I’m not getting tired or feeling anything, so it’s a good sign.”

Santana is penciled in for the Grapefruit League opener March 5 as well as the regular-season opener April 5 at Citi Field. As a result, he is unlikely to work in any of three intrasquad games leading into the spring-training opener -- on March 2, 3 and 4. Santana could throw batting practice as soon as the middle of next week.