NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Will Johan Santana be ready for Opening Day?

Mets manager Terry Collins sure believes he’ll have his ace on the mound. But Santana wouldn’t make any guarantees Tuesday.

After throwing 30 pitches off a bullpen mound, Santana said to reporters: “Suave, amigos. Everything is under control.”

A little later, the left-hander was confident he’d make it back, saying he was happy with his mechanics. He was more circumspect, though, about his chances of pitching on Opening Day, having learned from enduring setbacks last season.

Santana expected to have a better idea later in spring training after seeing how his shoulder responded after facing major league competition.

“Opening Day’s always good,” he said. “But again, I’m approaching everything one day at a time. Going through everything last year, one day you feel good and another you don’t feel good, it’s like a roller coaster.”

A strong return from Santana would be a huge help to the Mets. Collins said the team would be happy if it got 25-28 starts from the two-time Cy Young winner, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since September 2010.

“In my mind right now, in my heart, he’ll be ready,” Collins said. “I don’t think there’s any question. This guy has worked so hard in the last 18 months to get ready, I think he’s going to be ready, I really do.”

Collins also said the Mets will be better than expected this season.

Santana’s message to fans: “Be positive. We’re here, we’re getting better, and a lot of these guys are excited about being back. We’re going to have fun and win some games.”

Do you expect Santana on Opening Day? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Watch & Listen LIVE