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E.Y. or reliever, roster move looms

NEW YORK -- After his bullpen logged eight innings Sunday, Mets manager Terry Collins suggested team brass will need to huddle to see if a pitcher needs to be called up for Monday’s series opener in St. Louis.

If the Mets were to go that route, the mechanics likely would involve demoting a position player to add the bullpen arm. Then the Mets could shed a reliever a day or so later when the bullpen stabilizes and activate Eric Young Jr. from the disabled list.

If the Mets think they can get by without calling up an extra pitcher, E.Y. Jr. is expected to be activated from the DL on Monday at Busch Stadium. He is playing a final rehab game with Double-A Binghamton on Sunday night as he returns from a right hamstring strain.

“We plan on having him tomorrow,” Collins said Sunday.

Ex-Pirate Ryan Reid appears to be the top-performing reliever with Triple-A Las Vegas at the moment.

With a roster spot needing to be created for either a reliever or E.Y. Jr., a team insider did not foresee Chris Young being affected by that roster decision, despite a .196 batting average and a four-strikeout game Saturday.

Collins said one way the Mets can spare the regular relievers more work on Monday is by having Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch a couple of innings in relief Monday before reentering the rotation Friday in Miami.

Matsuzaka only tossed 17 pitches Sunday before a stomach ailment forced him to depart his start. It was that abbreviated outing that prompted the extreme bullpen workload.

“If I’m physically fit to go tomorrow, I’d definitely like to help out the bullpen,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter.