FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- So long, Spring Training.
Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez are done pitching in Grapefruit League games, and John Maine's spring might be finished, too. Mets manager Willie Randolph announced on Monday that Martinez and Santana would each forgo their final Spring Training starts in favor of outings in Minor League games, and that he "didn't think" Maine would make his scheduled start in Saturday's Civil Rights Game in Memphis.
Instead, lefty Jonathan Niese will start on Tuesday against the Braves, and right-hander Robert Parnell will take the mound on Wednesday against the Marlins. Randolph did not name a possible replacement for Maine, though right-hander Nelson Figueroa -- still an outside candidate for the fifth starter's job -- would presumably be available.
Santana completed his Spring Training with a 1-1 record and 3.15 ERA, leading the Mets in innings and pitching better as the spring wore on. Martinez, delayed multiple times by weather and unwanted road trips, made two starts, finishing with a 2.00 ERA.
Niese, 21, is among the team's top remaining starting pitching prospects -- and the top left-hander on the list. He made two starts earlier this spring, earning one win and posting a 2.25 ERA. Parnell, 23, also ranks among the team's best prospects. He pitched two scoreless innings in his only relief outing this spring.
Both players were re-assigned to Minor League camp earlier this month.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.