It was great to see video of Johan Santana throwing batting practice. Of course it’s still a long way from BP to Opening Day but each day he’s on the field makes it more likely that he’ll break camp with the Mets rather than being placed on the DL. And if Santana is on the roster when the season opens, the Mets might not have a player on the DL for the first time since very early in the 2009 season.

According to the ESPN team transactions page for 2009, the Mets made their first DL move on April 18th, when they moved Brian Schneider to the 15-day DL. He did not return until May 30th. In the interim, Oliver Perez, Carlos Delgado, Alex Cora, Ryan Church and Jose Reyes all were sidelined with injuries, with Delgado and Reyes lost for the year.

Last year Santana missed the entire season and the year before that Daniel Murphy was out for the year. And there were countless other players who were disabled during those two seasons. Of course, 2009 was the year where nearly everyone visited the DL at one point or another. So, I think it would be a wonderful omen if we could start 2012 with the 25 men Terry Collins actually wants to see.

On to this week’s links.

Want to feel old? Ed Leyro points out how we can count the players on the Mets who played home games in Shea Stadium on one hand, assuming that you were using Antonio Alfonseca‘s hand.

Happy Belated Birthday to the Faith and Fear guys! Here Greg Prince celebrates seven years with eight wishes.

Lenny Randle gets the Centerfield Maz treatment.

Stacy Podelski tells us how Ron Darling spent Valentine’s Day – working for Habitat for Humanity.

Jason Michaels has been in the majors for parts of 11 seasons. That’s a career that most guys would kill for. But is it a good or bad thing when one of the Mets’ top position prospects is compared to Michaels? Adam Rubin and his unnamed scout bring up this comp for Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Most everyone wants the Mets to proceed cautiously with their top pitching prospects. Wally Backman wants to be aggressive with Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia, and that’s good enough for Mike Silva.

Speaking of Backman, Mike Harrington reports that he will wear uniform #8 to honor Gary Carter this year while managing in Buffalo

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