If all goes as scheduled, Santana could be back in the rotation by the All-Star break as ESPN New York reports.
Johan has gone through Phase 1. Phase 1 -- recovery from the surgery. There was a healing process, a restoration of range of motion, that sort of thing. And that took about four and a half months. The second stage is a return to throwing, which is the stage he is in currently. We expect that to last maybe three months. It will involve flat ground, a gradual lengthening of the tossing and also intensity/velocity. We expect that's going to take about three months, so that would take us maybe into ... the first of May. The third phase is actual return to pitching. The medical expectation is maybe six to eight weeks. So if you do the math, it gets you to the end of June, the middle part of July.Currently, the Mets rotation is headed up by Mike Pelfrey, followed by Jonathon Niese and R.A. Dickey. While the final two spots are up for grabs, Chris Young and Chris Capuano are expected to beat out Dillon Gee, Pat Misch, Oliver Perez and D.J. Carrasco for the honors.
When Santana returns, assuming all pitchers are healthy, you can likely expect Capuano to move to the bullpen. Young has a better chance of sticking long-term in the rotation and providing strong value. Capuano, meanwhile, missed two seasons due to injuries before starting nine games and appearing in 15 out of the bullpen for the Brewers in 2010.
-- Evan Brunell