NEW YORK -- Johan Santana took another step toward his return from left shoulder surgery on Friday, pitching three innings in Class A Savannah's South Atlantic League playoff game.
Beginning his second Minor League rehab assignment in the past two months, Santana held Class A Augusta to one unearned run in three innings, striking out one and allowing two hits and a walk. The left-hander threw 27 of his 39 pitches for strikes.
Savannah and Augusta were playing Game 2 of their best-of-three first-round playoff series.
Depending on how Santana emerges from Friday's outing, the Mets may soon call him up to the Majors for his first start since surgery last September to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Other options include instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Fla. or winter ball in Santana's native Venezuela. Because the Minor League postseason ends next week, a lengthy rehab stint is no longer possible for Santana, who cut short his previous assignment due to renewed discomfort in his shoulder.
Much of the plan depends on how Santana's shoulder responds Saturday morning.
"We're looking for what happens tomorrow," Mets manager Terry Collins said prior to Santana's Friday start. "I'm not looking for results. I'm not looking for velocity. I'm looking to see how he comes out of this tomorrow, because what we ultimately want to do here is bring him back on four days' rest and have him pitch again."