Mets' Mejia Returns From Surgery With Role TBD





NEW YORK—As righthander Jenrry Mejia completes another circuitous season, his path once more winds toward the big leagues. But if he pitches for the Mets this season, he'll do so in a different role than the one set out for him just two months ago.

Big league manager Terry Collins indicated that Mejia likely would receive at least one start during September, though the organization still has not decided on the best long-term role for the 22-year-old.

Mejia would seem to profile ideally as a reliever, but his best results have come as a starter.

The puzzle will be revisited next spring. For now, the organization can take comfort in Mejia's bounceback season after he had Tommy John surgery in 2011.

Mejia began his season on May 30 in the Triple-A Buffalo rotation. New York then shifted him to the bullpen in mid-June in an unsuccessful attempt to ready his electric arm for use in the big leagues.

Mejia, who signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, rejoined the Buffalo rotation at the end of July after running up a 5.48 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in 16 relief appearances. He struggled to command his cut fastball, leaving him vulnerable to lefthanders.

"When they moved me (to the bullpen), I didn't feel too comfortable," Mejia said, "because sometimes I'd be tight or something like that."

When the Mets faded from playoff contention in July, they elected to move Mejia back to the rotation. Through eight starts with the Bisons, he was 2-1, 1.12 with a 1.09 WHIP in 40 innings.

"The main thing was, let's get him some mound time," minor league field coordinator Dick Scott said. "Let's let him work on stuff he needs to work on, and build up arm strength."

Scott said there was a good chance Mejia pitches in winter ball to get more work.

METAMORPHOSES

• The Mets invited 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Amed Rosario to take batting practice at Citi Field on Aug. 20. New York signed him for $1.75 million, the highest sum paid to an international amateur in franchise history.

• The Mets were strongly considering calling up lefty reliever C.J. Nitkowski in September. The 39-year-old last pitched in the majors in 2005, and he spent all of 2007-10 in Japan and Korea.