NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Will Johan Santana be ready to take the ball on Opening Day?

According to the Mets’ “private expectations,” well, probably not, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

“Really, there is almost no chance that Santana avoids the disabled list at the beginning of the season,” wrote Martino.

An irked Santana surprised everyone by throwing off a mound at the Mets’ spring training complex in Port St. Lucie on Sunday, one day after general manager Sandy Alderson said the 33-year-old was becoming “less and less likely” to open the season at home against San Diego on April 1.

“(T)eam insiders say it is almost certain that Jeremy Hefner, and not one of the options available outside the organization, will begin the year in the rotation,” Martino wrote. He added on Twitter — paraphrasing his own report — that the Mets “privately expect Santana to start on DL.”

Santana missed the entire 2011 season after surgery on his throwing shoulder and was shut down last August due to lower back inflammation.

Manager Terry Collins wasn’t too thrilled with the left-hander’s decision to rush his throwing schedule.

“In retrospect, he knows he should have handled it a little bit differently,” Collins said Monday. “But he was fine, and he wanted to show everybody he was fine.”

COLEMAN: Forget about April 1

Santana had mostly done light tossing over the offseason to rest his shoulder.

“I just said, ‘Look, we’re going to do this the right way,'” said Collins. “‘We’re not going to hurt you. We’re not going to get you injured. I don’t care how upset you are about things, we’re going to do this the proper way. April 1 is only a date on the calendar. It doesn’t mean anything if you’re not ready.'”

Shaun Marcum was pulled from the Mets’ Grapefruit League rotation last week to strengthen his shoulder. He’s scheduled to start again Tuesday, and the team isn’t concerned “about his readiness for April,” according to the Daily News.

When do you expect Santana to make his first regular-season start? Think he’ll stay healthy? Sound off in the comments!


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