Spring Training Start Delayed for Mets’ Johan Santana

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Chris Trotman/Getty Images(PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.) — New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana’s first start of spring training has been pushed back.  Santana was scheduled to start on March 2, but Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said on Friday the team is aiming for March 10-15.

“It’s just a matter of building up strength,” Alderson said. “So he’ll be long-tossing before he gets back on the mound. We expect that his schedule will have been delayed somewhat.”

Santana, 33, missed all of the 2011 season after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule and returned last season before finishing the season on the disabled list with lower-back inflammation.

“It’s not a soreness thing. I wouldn’t even call it a weakness,” Alderson said.  “It’s just where he is in his program is somewhat behind based on his winter and the injury from last year and his loss of the second half of the season. So he’s just a little behind schedule.”

Santana is in the final year of a six-year deal.  The former Cy Young award winner is due to make $25.5 million, plus another $5.5 million buyout of a 2014 vesting option.

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