PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Jeremy Hefner now is officially listed as Thursday's planned starter against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field, in the spot originally belonging to Mike Pelfrey, then Chris Schwinden, and then Miguel Batista.
New York Mets
Batista landed on the disabled list Sunday with a strained oblique or back muscle. The 41-year-old righty had departed Saturday's game against Toronto after two innings, forcing Hefner to pitch five relief innings. Hefner limited the Blue Jays to two runs, although he suffered the loss.
Hefner, 26, has two major league appearances on his résumé, both with the Mets this season. He also tossed three scoreless innings against the San Francisco Giants on April 23.
He was leading the International League in ERA with Triple-A Buffalo at 1.77 until allowing six runs in 5 2/3 innings against Gwinnett last Tuesday, which lifted that mark out of the top 10, to 2.72.
An Oklahoma native, Hefner will be facing his original organization in his first major league start. He was drafted by the Padres in the fifth round in 2007 out of Oral Roberts University, six slots before the Mets took Triple-A infielder Zach Lutz in that same round.
Hefner rose to Triple-A Tucson in the Padres organization last season. He compiled a 9-7 record and 4.98 ERA in 28 starts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He twice was claimed off waivers during the offseason, first by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Nov. 18, then by the Mets on Dec. 12 when Pittsburgh tried to pass him through.