Mets delay Johan's Tuesday start
Left-handed ace will not pitch vs. Cards because of sore left elbow
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The condition of the most important elbow in Mets camp, the left elbow of Johan Santana, is virtually unchanged since it prompted the club to cancel his first exhibition-game start. Nonetheless, his next first start has been postponed, too, because the club feels the need to be, in the words of manager Jerry Manuel, "extra, extra, extra" cautious.
Consequently, Santana will not pitch against the Cardinals on Tuesday. And when he will pitch hasn't been determined, Manuel indicated on Friday. The manager doubts his No. 1 starter will miss an entire turn of the Mets' readily revisable rotation.
Santana experienced tightness in the elbow -- he said it is an annual February occurrence for him -- on Wednesday, so his Friday morning start against the Italian team from the World Baseball Classic was scratched on Thursday. At that point, the plan was for him to throw a light bullpen session on Saturday or Sunday and then make his spring debut on Tuesday.
"We don't need him right now," Manuel said. "That's my ace. If [the delay] is more than a few days, I'm not concerned. It's so early."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.