By Matt Snyder
As he continues his recovery from surgery on a torn anterior capsule in his throwing shoulder, Mets ace Johan Santana took his most significant step forward Sunday. The left-hander threw his fourth bullpen session of the spring, but this time he threw 72 pitches off the mound, simulating a game.
Justin Turner stood in the batter's box for a bit of the session and was impressed.
“The ball looked like it was coming out of his hand good,” Turner said (ESPN New York). “It had late movement. The biggest thing for me was how excited he looked on the mound after throwing every pitch and how he was bouncing around. Obviously he felt pretty good about it too. And from standing in the box, from my angle, it looked pretty good as well.”
According to the ESPN New York report -- assuming no setbacks, of course -- Santana will long toss Wednesday, throw batting practice Friday and then pitch March 6 in a spring training game against the Cardinals.
Santana, who turns 33 in March, didn't pitch at all for the Mets in 2011. In 2010, he was 11-9 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 144 strikeouts in 199 innings. The four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner was obviously one of baseball's best prior to his arm issues.
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