NEW YORK (AP) — Jenrry Mejia's spot in the New York Mets' rotation is in jeopardy, but the young right-hander is reluctant to pitch out of the bullpen.
Manager Terry Collins said Saturday the team hadn't decided if Mejia, who is 3-0 with a 5.06 ERA, will start Wednesday against the New York Yankees. Collins said he and pitching coach Dan Warthen still had to discuss it with general manager Sandy Alderson.
"I'm OK with him being in the bullpen, but he's got to accept it if that's going to be the decision," Collins said.
"Certainly, we know he can do it and he knows he can do it."
Mejia got off to an excellent start this season but has struggled to get deep into games lately. New York needs help in the bullpen and has three touted prospects starting effectively at Triple-A Las Vegas.
"Jenrry's stuff plays. It's good enough," Collins said. "Where you get a little concerned is the excessive pitches that he uses to sometimes get some outs."
The 24-year-old Mejia said he's not sure if he would rather start in the minors or get bumped to the big league bullpen. After having two operations on his right elbow, including Tommy John surgery in 2011, he doesn't want to get hurt again.
"I'm worried about my arm. I want to have a long career. If they make that (decision), then it's going to be hard for me," he said.
"I always want to stay in the rotation," Mejia added. "I told him I don't know if there's going to be a point to be in the bullpen because I've already had two operations. ... If he calls me and says, 'Get ready,' it's going to be hard. But you know, whatever decision he makes, there's nothing I can do."
Mejia broke into the majors as a 20-year-old reliever in 2010 but was used mostly as a starter when he returned to the minors. After recovering from elbow trouble, he made five promising starts for the Mets last summer and expressed to the team his desire to be a starter.
He got his wish this spring and beat out veteran Daisuke Matsuzaka for the final slot in the rotation. Matsuzaka is now pitching out of the bullpen, a role that was unfamiliar to him before this season. But if Mejia is replaced in the rotation, it could involve a pitcher coming up from the minors, Collins said.
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