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Friday, January 17, 2014
Mejia joins Parnell in St. Lucie

By Adam Rubin

Bobby Parnell has company at the Mets' spring-training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Jenrry Mejia also has reported well ahead of the Feb. 15 official date for pitchers and catchers.

Like Parnell, Mejia is returning from surgery -- although far less severe.

Mejia had a bone spur removed from his pitching elbow on Aug. 28.

He went 1-2 with a 2.30 ERA in five starts before getting shut down.

Mejia, 24, right now is the apparent frontrunner to be the fifth starter -- at least until the Mets sign an external candidate on a minor-league contract. Officially, prospects Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero also will be competing for that spot.

While top prospect Noah Syndergaard will be in camp, the Mets do not intend to call him up until roughly July -- after the Super 2 deadline, which would delay his arbitration eligibility by a year.