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Monday, September 17, 2012
TC: Sunday home, two road games for R.A.

By Adam Rubin

Terry Collins confirmed the last chance to see R.A. Dickey at home will be Sunday against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

Dickey, who opposes the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, will make his final two 2012 starts on the road. He is due to pitch in Atlanta on Sept. 28, then handle the season finale Oct. 3 at Miami.

Dickey is 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA against the Marlins this season, so making two starts against them bodes well for becoming the Mets' first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990.

"When your season has had such a drastic turn like ours has, it still gives us some energy to go out and play with," Collins said about the energy derived from Dickey's starts.

Also regarding the rotation, Jeremy Hefner will, in fact, start Wednesday's series finale against the Phillies. Jeurys Familia originally was penciled in for that start, but Collins would like to see Familia continue in a relief role. The manager said there is one open spot the final week of the season, and Familia may start that road game. Collin McHugh also is due to get another start.

"He's thrown so effectively out of the bullpen," Collins said about Familia. "And, to be honest, there's a start that's down the road a ways that he may start it so we can see him. But I've really liked what I've seen out of the bullpen."

Could Jenrry Mejia, Familia and even McHugh wind up in the 2013 bullpen on Opening Day? That may be too many young players in one relief corps, according to the manager.

Familia and Mejia both profile as relievers, although Familia noted he pitched in relief only once in the minors, in 2009 with Savannah -- and in that game he was being treated as a second starter. Even now, the Mets give him a full inning to warm up for relief work and do not use him back-to-back days.

"That's a lot to ask. That's a lot of young guys to put down there at one time," Collins said about having three young pitchers on the same relief corps. "I'm sure somebody in that group is going to have to start -- or will be starting somewhere. We've got to make sure we've got some insurance, some depth to our rotation. Everybody thinks there's only five, and you leave spring training hoping you've got eight or nine. So some of those guys are going to have to start someplace."