PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The crowds following Johan Santana's every move have diminished, leaving the left-hander in relative peace at Mets camp. On the morning of his 33rd birthday, Santana threw an uneventful bullpen session on a back mound Tuesday, keeping him on track for a third spring start this Friday.
"It's nothing crazy," Santana said. "Just another day. Older, but just another day."
More significant tests will come later this month for Santana, when he increases his pitch count into regular-season territory. For now, the left-hander aims to throw 60 pitches and as many as four innings in Friday's start against the Tigers. The Mets expect him to be ready for Opening Day on April 5 against the Braves.