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Friday, February 22, 2013
Alderson: Johan Santana pushed back

By Adam Rubin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana’s first Grapefruit League appearance has been pushed back as much as two weeks, although general manager Sandy Alderson said the southpaw is not injured.

Santana originally had been schedule to make his first spring-training appearance March 2, but Alderson said the ballclub is now targeting the March 10-15 range.

“There’s no structural issue,” Alderson said. “It’s just a matter of building up strength. So he’ll be long-tossing before he gets back on the mound.”

Alderson suggested Santana remains on track to break camp with the team. But the GM could not rule out Santana opening the season on the DL.

“Right now, we don’t think so, but it’s obviously a possibility,” Alderson said.

Right-handers Jenrry Mejia, Zack Wheeler and Jeremy Hefner would appear to be the primary considerations to plug the rotation spot if Santana were unavailable to open the season.

Alderson also announced that Pedro Feliciano and Jamie Hoffmann were sent to New York for “non-orthopedic” follow-ups to their initial team physical examinations.

The GM said he was unable to elaborate on their medical issues for privacy reasons. He could not say if their early Grapefruit League play would be restricted as a result.

Alderson said Frank Francisco (elbow inflammation) will be permitted to begin tossing a baseball Monday or Tuesday.

Read the full news story here.