By Ed Coleman
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By now, most people expected Johan Santana to have some sort of setback.

Hasn’t happened.

There’s still a long way to go, and there’s a big test looming on Tuesday when he makes his first exhibition start and pitches two innings.

It was another positive day Thursday for Santana, throwing about 40 pitches while facing live batters for the first time.

Overall, Santana was happy with his command and once again was able to throw all his pitches.

Good as well to manager Terry Collins’ eyes. He thought his ace left-hander was sharp.

So Tuesday becomes the next key date circled on the Santana calendar, that performance and the aftermath very important to Collins.

The bottom line with Santana is this – the command of his pitches can be off, the velocity down, what really matters is getting him through spring training and to Opening Day, everything else will come together if he stays healthy.

And the long-term health of Santana affects so many areas of the ball club.

Daniel Murphy was one of the batters facing Santana, and he said because Johan is healthy and progressing, his personality is shining through.

And no, the velocity is not there at the moment, but Murphy says that doesn’t matter.

David Wright, Ike Davis and Jason Bay were other starters who batted against Santana – what did they tell the lefty about his outing?

Pitching coach Dan Warthen was asked if he’s seen any red flags with Santana’s work thus far.

Same as always. That’s what the Mets are hoping for. The same Santana as always.

C U soon
Eddie C.

Do you think 25 starts at a 3.50 ERA is too much to expect from Santana? Sound off below…

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