Lisa Kennedy, of NJ.com’s Mets Blog, details the reaction of nearly every single person in Port St. Lucie today when they could hear pitches thrown in the bullpen. Who was it? Their big-time pitcher.
“Fascinating scene at Tradition Field this morning. Johan Santana, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, was throwing a casual bullpen session at the complex, with pitching coach Rick Peterson close at hand. The media all wandered out to watch from the path next to the bullpens area. Then all the catchers stopped their work on an adjoining field to come and watch. Then all the coaches. Then some of the players who had been working out, like David Wright, stopped on their way back to the clubhouse to watch. Barely anyone spoke, and then only in a murmur. Basically the entire camp halted to watch the Mets’ prize offseason acquisition throw 30 pitches.”
That’s huge. The reason why you can see everyone making such a big deal out of this is a simple one: The Mets only had 1 more piece to the puzzle that they’ve wanted to complete since 2005, and that puzzle, in my mind, is complete. The Mets have multiple 15-game winners in their starting rotation, they have a closer, they have big hitters, they have a solid bench, and they have quality position players that will stick around for a long time. What don’t they have? A BIG TIME pitcher that is in his prime. The Mets now have a BIG TIME pitcher in his prime in Johan. Pedro is a pretty big-time pitcher, he just isn’t 28 years old anymore.