PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Johan Santana threw off a mound Tuesday for the second time this year and was promptly engulfed by a scrum of reporters. For Santana’s sanity, it is something he will likely have to get used to.
The crowd was larger than it was for his first bullpen session last Friday, with a noticeable influx of television cameras, but the results for Santana were the same: the left-hander made it through with his arm in one piece, there were smiles all through the coaching and medical staff, and onlookers were reminded, again, that there is a long way to go until the regular season.
“I’m always trying to stay positive with everything I do,” Santana said. “I felt really good today, and I’m just trying to keep it that way through spring training.”
The situation with Santana this spring has called to mind spring training last year, when Carlos Beltran was asked daily for updates on his surgically-repaired knee. And there’s no reason to believe Santana’s day-to-day progress will draw any less scrutiny from the organization, news media, and fans.
Santana, who thus far has worked out on his own after the rest of the team, has maintained a sunny demeanor amid all the hubbub. For him, just going through his normal routine has been rewarding enough.
“I’ve been through a lot the last couple of years and, finally, it’s exciting for me to be out on the field and doing the things I used to do,” Santana said. “And being around with the guys is always good.”