- Johan Santana and the Mets denied a report by Steve Popper and Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record that suggested Santana's rehab wasn't progressing and the Mets were close to shutting him down. The left-hander, who turns 32 today, told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork, "We're right on the right track and where we're supposed to be. Whoever is saying that I'm not ready I think is lying."
- While pitching coach Dan Warthen was also positive about Santana's progress, a July return is definitely no sure thing. ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider-only) says the Mets consider the southpaw's rehab a long process, and aren't expecting a significant contribution from him this year. If Santana needs more time to recover, he won't be rushed back.
- Olney's piece indicates there's some optimism about the Mets being competitive this season, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post isn't so sure. He runs through all the pieces that would have to fall into place for the Mets to become a contender.
- Within Sherman's column, one scout says he has been pleasantly surprised by Lucas Duda this spring. As Rubin writes in an ESPN.com piece, Duda could be an important contributor for the Mets this season if Carlos Beltran's knees act up.
- You can throw Luis Hernandez's name into the Mets' second base mix, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.