Miguel Batista and Dillon Gee will start the two halves of Monday's single-admission doubleheader, beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Preferring to keep the rest of their rotation in order, the Mets bumped Santana from Monday's series finale against the Giants back to Tuesday's opener against the Marlins.
"It's about the entire staff," manager Terry Collins said. "We talked all spring long about making sure we keep our five starters in sync. And if we don't, we end up getting them out of sync if we don't back somebody up. We talked to Johan. He was on board with it. As a matter of fact, he said, 'The worst thing we can do is screw up somebody else.' So we decided to go that way."
In lieu of Santana, Batista will face Tim Lincecum in Game 1 after last throwing 10 pitches on April 18. Batista has not thrown more than 35 pitches in any game this season, though he has served as a spot starter often in the past and is accustomed to that role.
Gee, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday, will pitch Game 2 opposite Madison Bumgarner.
Light rain began falling in Queens around 10 a.m. Sunday, prompting a late-morning meeting between umpires and staff. With heavier rain forecast into the evening, the Mets and Giants officially called the game more than an hour before first pitch.
Only tickets marked "Monday, April 23 -- Game 10" are valid for admission to the single-admission doubleheader. Fans holding paid tickets from Sunday's game wishing to attend the doubleheader may exchange them at the Citi Field ticket windows. Fans can also exchange Sunday's tickets for comparably priced seats, pending availability, to any 2012 home game.
That includes Tom Seaver Bobblehead Day, which the Mets have rescheduled for May 5. The club has also scheduled its next Mr. Met Dash baserunning event for May 6.
From a baseball standpoint, Collins believes Sunday's rainout can only aid his pitching staff, giving Santana an extra day to recover from one of the worst starts of his career.
"It will only help him work on some other things," Collins said. "But it's about the whole staff, and not just Johan for sure."
Moving Santana back a day allows the Mets to keep R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey on turn, pushing each one of them back a day, as well. It may not be Santana's ideal situation given the quality of his outing last week in Atlanta, but the left-hander was on board with Collins' decision.
"I wanted to pitch the next day after that, let's just put it that way," Santana said of a game in which he allowed six runs to the Braves over a career-low 1 1/3 innings. "But that's not the way it is. It's just a bad outing, that's all it is. You just put it back and hope that the next one, you can bounce back and do better."
Santana was previously scheduled to pitch Monday on an extra day's rest, as he has for each of his first three starts in his comeback from left shoulder surgery. He will now pitch Tuesday on six days' rest, before throwing April 29 on regular rest for the first time this season.
"I'm still working my way back and trying to go deeper into the games," Santana said. "They want to make sure that everything is fine and I don't put too much pressure on my shoulder, which is understandable. But at the same time, I want to compete."