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SAN DIEGO -- The New York Mets placed Jenrry Mejia on the disabled list Sunday, a day after the right-hander departed his start against the San Diego Padres in the fourth inning with elbow discomfort.
Mejia, 23, has a bone spur in his right elbow that he knew would require surgery after the season to remove.
The discomfort became too great Saturday to continue pitching with the issue. Manager Terry Collins said he believed Mejia now would undergo the surgery soon, ending his season but giving him ample time to be ready for spring training.
"I can't say I know for sure, but it certainly doesn't look very good," Collins said about Mejia pitching again this season.
General manager Sandy Alderson said Mejia pitching with the issue was a pain-tolerance question and the right-hander was not doing additional harm by trying to pitch through discomfort.
The Mets, who only a couple of weeks ago were employing a six-man rotation, now are down to four starting pitchers.
Right-hander Jeremy Hefner landed on the disabled list last week with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow. Hefner will be evaluated Monday to determine if he will require Tommy John surgery.
Because many of the Mets' top minor league pitchers are approaching tight innings caps, Collins said team officials are deciding between two "immediate" plans to fill the rotation void.
Carlos Torres, who has made three starts for the Mets this season, could face the Detroit Tigers on Friday at Citi Field in Mejia's spot. Or, because Thursday is a team off-day, Mejia's spot could be skipped for one turn and Matt Harvey could start Friday on regular rest instead of Saturday.
However, the Mets prefer giving Harvey and Zack Wheeler extra days of rest because they, too, face inning caps. Team officials would like them to pitch through the end of the season without getting shut down.
"We're reaching the point where we've got to start to be pretty careful with those two young guys," Collins said. "We had scheduled them to have that extra day. ... Now, I think a lot will be determined how Matt does today [against the Padres], how far in the game he goes, how many pitches he throws. Do we want to bring him back on four days again? Because you're looking at the backside of a lot of innings. The more you pitch him now, the less we're going to see him in September."
Regardless, Collins suggested, September call-ups probably would plug the rotation spot after rosters expand, not Torres. That likely would exclude the trio of most prominent starting pitchers in the upper minors -- right-handers Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. All three face strict innings caps. And in the cases of Montero and Syndergaard, the two most elite prospects, neither has to be added to the 40-man roster this winter, either.
To fill Mejia's roster spot, the Mets promoted sidearm-throwing Greg Burke, a right-handed reliever, from Triple-A Las Vegas.