Johan Santana hurls three scoreless innings in rehab debut

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Mets left-hander Johan Santana made his first minor league rehab start on Thursday evening at High-A St. Lucie. And the results were mostly positive.

According to David Lennon of Newsday, Santana allowed just two hits and no runs over three strong innings. He threw 33 pitches, 26 of which were strikes, fanning three batters without issuing a walk.

Santana told reporters after the start that he felt strong while on the mound and had no problems at all with his surgically-repaired shoulder. But some concern remains within the Mets’ organization.

Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record spoke Thursday night to Mets rehab coordinator Randy Niemann, who opined that Santana is a very different pitcher than he was before the surgery. Niemann also suggested that the left-hander’s throwing shoulder is not physically ready to handle major league competition.

But perhaps that will change with time.

Santana is likely to spend close to a month in the minors and probably won’t be activated until late August.