Santana has not pitched in a major league game since undergoing surgery to repair a torn capsule in his throwing shoulder in September, 2010.
“It means everything that we have done since I had my surgery all the way to today has paid off,” Santana told reporters towards the ends of Spring Training. "We worked hard, and I’m very happy that I have an opportunity to start the season from day one with the team. That’s something that I really was looking forward to. I’m excited about it.”
To read about the relationship between Santana and the baseball, something that all pitchers seem to understand, read this fascinating report by Brian Costa in the Wall Street Journal.