Warthen: Bad press maybe motivated Johan

March, 3, 2013
JUPITER, Fla. -- Johan Santana displayed displeasure for being portrayed as out of pitching shape. But pitching coach Dan Warthen thinks the negative press may have nudged Santana onto the mound Sunday for the first since Feb. 19.

On Saturday, Sandy Alderson had estimated it might take another 10 days for Santana to get onto a mound.

“There were comments,” Warthen said. “Maybe they were motivational, even by the general manager, because he said he wasn’t going to be out there for a few days. And Johan said, ‘I’ll prove you guys are wrong.’ Maybe it was a pretty good motivational thing.”

Terry Collins again chatted with Santana on Sunday.

“I’m not surprised with anything he does,” Collins said. “This guy competes. He’s not happy with all the attention that something as minor as that has gotten. He’ll get himself ready.

“I said this morning, ‘Look, don’t let this stuff get to you.’ I said, ‘This is about getting you ready. And if it’s April 1, terrific. If it’s April 5, great. If it’s April 15, that’s the way it is. But it’s about you being able to run out there 30 times next summer. If that means we’re going to have to slow the pace down, then we’ll do it.’”

Said Warthen: “He threw the ball very well today. We’ve seen that for the last week, where we’re seeing more power come every day. The arm is getting in shape and I’m pretty excited about what’s happening.”
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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