Mets Saturday morning: Santana to DL, Hefner up

After last night’s Johan Santana start that was not awesome (well, it was for the Dodgers, and particularly for Luis Cruz, who hit his first major league home run), Terry Collins discussed maybe skipping the lefty’s next start, because he was tired or something.

“He’s not hurt, let’s put it that way,” said Terry Collins after the game.

That turned out to be false, at least according to the front office. Santana was placed on the disabled list this morning with an ankle injury.

Of course, the ankle thing still doesn’t make a lot of sense given that Collins said that he wanted to “get some energy back in the arm.” You’d think it would be more clear that Santana’s issues were based in the lower body like the Mets are implying with the DL stint.

At least an ankle injury would seem to signify that Santana’s issues are not based on Collins letting him throw 134 pitches to complete his no-hitter on June 1. Said Santana yesterday, “That no-hitter stuff was a long time ago. I don’t think that has anything to do with it.”

Santana has a 6.54 ERA in eight starts the no-hitter. The problem is an insane 11 home runs surrendered as well as 42 other hits in just 42.2 innings. 17 walks isn’t great either, but 37 strikeouts indicate that the stuff is still there. You have to figure if Santana keeps striking guys out, the home runs and hits will go down at least a little bit by themselves.

Obviously, I would go with more effective pitching now. Not only did I not get to see the no-hitter alive (I was in Europe), but everyone knows perfect games are the new no-hitters. It’s really ridiculous that the Padres don’t have even a no-no yet.

Jeremy Hefner has been called up, likely to back up Miguel Batista’s start today. Hefner might then pitch in Santana’s stead on Wednesday. Adam Rubin is thinking that this could set up for Matt Harvey to make his MLB debut on Thursday in Phoenix.

I think Harvey would be best used out of the bullpen if promoted this season, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I would be surprised if Harvey pitches a lot better than a replacement-level guy would, but his debut should be fun nonetheless.

Oh, and today at 1:10 PM the Mets play the Dodgers for game number two of their three-game series. As usual, Collins has loaded the lineup with righties against a left-handed opponent. Scott Hairston, Jason Bay, Ronny Cedeno and Mike Nickeas are all in the starting lineup to face old friend Chris Capuano. Here’s LA’s lineup. Hopefully we’ll find out that two starters are better than one this afternoon.

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