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Mets Spring Training 2012: Johan Santana Progressing Well

Soon-to-be 33-year-old, Johan Santana, pitched to live batters for the first time in five months on Thursday and the results were good, said Santana.

"I was told I was going to be challenged by those guys and I had to step up," Santana said, smiling. "Overall, it was good."

Santana is scheduled to be the New York Mets' opening day starter and will start his first spring training game on Tuesday, against the St. Louis Cardinals. Santana is expected to throw 35 pitches.

2010 was the last time Santana pitched in the bigs, when he threw 199 innings for the Mets, winning 11 games and recording 144 strikeouts. During that season Santana's average fastball was clocked at 89.4 miles per hour – down two miles per hour from his 91.4 career average. He also caused batters to swing and miss at a much lower clip than he had in previous seasons.

-- For more coverage of the Mets, visit our blog Amazin' Avenue. If you'd like more on baseball's Spring Training, check out the SB Nation's Baseball Nation.