PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins reaffirmed Friday that Jenrry Mejia will work as a starting pitcher, most likely with Triple-A Las Vegas, to open the regular season.
New York Mets
"Is it going to be here? As of right now, with our staff, probably not," Collins said, alluding to the projected major league rotation of Johan Santana, Shaun Marcum, Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee. "But he's certainly in the top seven (along with Zack Wheeler). He's got to be in that mix."
Returning from Tommy John surgery last season with Triple-A Buffalo, Mejia's numbers as a starting pitcher (2.75 ERA, .245 opponent batting average) were far better than as a reliever (5.48 ERA, .303 opponent batting average).
Of course, Mejia first has to get to camp. Sandy Alderson has said he believes Mejia's visa scrutiny for an age and identity review was random and that the reliever is not a target for cause.
"Hopefully this gets cleared up in the next week or so," Collins said.
Collins added that Mejia continues to prepare at the Mets' complex in the Dominican Republic.
"I know when he gets to camp he's going to be ready to go," Collins said.