Johan Santana pitched against minor leaguers and without fielders instead of taking on the Atlanta Braves today.
Santana will make a start against the Braves early in the season, so he was skipped for todays game. He threw 81 pitches against a cast of minor leaguers on the back fields, according to NJ.com.
Jon Niese took his place as a starter, and went 4 2-3, giving up 2 hits and 2 runs. He walked 6 and struck out one.
Nice outing by Niese, who should be very good in a few years. Earlier in the day, I wrote that I can't wait until someone inquires about Niese being the Mets 5th starter, and not minutes later, I received an e-mail asking that exact question.