Johan Santana, who missed last season after shoulder surgery, will start for the New York Mets on the opening day of the Major League Baseball season against the Atlanta Braves.
Left-hander Santana, 33, last started for the Mets on Sept. 2, 2010, also against the Braves. The four-time All-Star had surgery 12 days later to repair a tear in his throwing arm’s anterior capsule, close to the pectoral muscle.
“I’m very happy that I have an opportunity to start the season from day one,” Santana told reporters at the Mets’ spring training camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida. “That’s something that I was really looking forward to.”
Santana won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the American League in 2004 and 2006 with the Minnesota Twins. In February 2008 he signed a six-year, $137.5 million contract with the Mets and set a franchise record that year for strikeouts for left-handers in a single season, with 206.
In three seasons with the Mets prior to the shoulder surgery, Santana had a 40-25 record and 2.85 earned run average.
The Mets get their season under way with games on April 5, 7 and 8 at Citi Field in New York against Atlanta. Right-hander Tommy Hanson will start on opening day for the Braves.