The last time Johan Santana was healthy, Jaime Moyer was in middle school.
After throwing an intensive bullpen session Saturday, New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana walked by manager Terry Collins and proclaimed: “You’ve got your pitcher for Thursday.”
A day later, after Santana met with general manager Sandy Alderson, Collins and the rest of the rotation Sunday morning inside the manager’s office, that proclamation was affirmed.
Santana, who last threw a pitch in a major league game on Sept. 2, 2010, will start opposite Atlanta Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson on Thursday at Citi Field in the teams’ regular-season opener.
This is the Mets’ 51st season. Tom Seaver leads the way with 11 opening day starts for the team, followed by Dwight Gooden with 8. Now that he will make his 4th opening day start for the Mets, Johan Santana matches Tom Glavine for 3rd-most in franchise history.
R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee will round out the rotation, in that order.
Santana underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder 12 days after that last major league pitch.
“It means everything that we have done since I had my surgery, all the way to today, has been paid off,” Santana said. “We worked hard. And I’m very happy. I’m very happy that I have an opportunity to start the season from Day 1 with the team. That’s something that I really was looking forward to. I’m excited about it.”
Santana will make his seventh Opening Day start, his fifth with the Mets.