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Thursday, May 15, 2014
Mets ultimately view Mejia as closer

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK -- The Mets plan to use Jenrry Mejia as the closer on Thursday night should they have a late and close lead. And Terry Collins believes over time Mejia will emerge as the regular closer.

Still, Collins said Mejia cannot be anointed to the role yet because the 24-year-old right-hander is not ready to pitch on consecutive days.

Mejia has not worked on back-to-back days at any professional level since June 5-6, 2010 -- his last time as a reliever in the majors.

Mejia is transitioning from a starting role to relief. He had a wonderful first appearance back in the bullpen, recording four outs at Yankee Stadium on Monday, hours after learning he had lost his rotation spot.

“If we felt he was ready to go back-to-back days, possibly three days in a row, he would be the guy. But he is not at that stage yet,” Collins said.

Four different Mets have recorded saves this season: the newly dumped Kyle Farnsworth (three), Jose Valverde (two), Carlos Torres (one) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (one). Planned closer Bobby Parnell landed on the disabled list after Opening Day and subsequently underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.

“We’re going to designate each day a guy that we’re going to lean towards. Tonight would be Mejia, but we’re not naming him the closer,” Collins said. “With Jose pitching two innings last night, we thought we’d go to a guy who we knew would be good and fresh. So Jenrry would be that guy tonight.”