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Mets' Santana uncertain when he'll pitch again

JUPITER — Johan Santana knows he won't be pitching when the Mets start their season April 1. He doesn't know when he'll take the mound again.

The left-hander, 34, was scheduled to throw on flat ground from 90 feet Saturday, up from 60 feet a week earlier. He'll need to get up to about 180 feet before the Mets allow his first bullpen session since March 3.

"I'm making progress; I just don't know when I'm going to be pitching again," Santana said Saturday. "That's the thing: We cannot think ahead. The way we're approaching everything is every day make sure we have a good today, so (today) we'll come back and we'll do it again until we feel we can do this without any problems."

The two-time Cy Young Award winner will miss the entire exhibition season because of a lack of arm strength and will start the season on the disabled list.

"It's a slow process," Santana said. "One day at a time, make sure that every day I feel better and make progress. That's what I'm doing right now."

In other Mets news, third baseman David Wright hit in a batting cage for the first time since a strained left intercostal muscle caused him to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic. He said he felt no pain.

BRAVES STAR NOT CLOSE: Catcher Brian McCann, coming back from offseason right shoulder surgery, will not play in a minor-league game before April 16, Braves general manager Frank Wren told mlb.com.

CARDS CLOSER HURT: Cardinals closer Jason Motte probably will start the season on the disabled because of a mild muscle flexor strain in his pitching arm. The right-hander stopped throwing after the results of an MRI exam a day earlier.

DODGERS: Right-hander Chad Billingsley, who had been out since bruising his right index finger March 15, pitched 42/3 innings in a minor-league game and is confident he will be ready when the season begins.

INDIANS: Former Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir, battling for the fifth starter's job, gave up five runs on 13 hits over five innings against the Mariners.

MARINERS: Catcher Jesus Montero was hit on the head by a backswing from Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor but does not have a concussion. … Right-hander Jon Garland was released.

NATIONALS: Outfielder Bryce Harper was scratched because of swelling in his left hand a day after he was hit by a pitch.

REDS: Right-hander Mat Latos came out in the sixth inning after being hit on the left ankle by a comebacker. X-rays were negative, and he is listed as day to day.

ROYALS: Chris Getz will open the season as the starting second baseman after Johnny Giavotella was optioned to Triple-A Omaha.

TWINS: Right-hander Samuel Deduno was scratched from his scheduled start today because of groin tightness.

Mets' Santana uncertain when he'll pitch again 03/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 23, 2013 9:35pm]
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