PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Still unsure of when Jenrry Mejia may arrive at camp, Mets manager Terry Collins reiterated Friday that Mejia will work as a starter once an issue with his visa is resolved and he rejoins the Mets.
"Is it going to be [in New York]? As of right now, with our staff, probably not," Collins said, "But he's certainly in the top seven. He's got to be in that mix."
Unlike fellow pitching prospect Jeurys Familia, who struggled as a starting pitcher last season, Mejia performed better as a starter than a reliever. It was enough for the Mets to spend the offseason trumpeting Mejia as a starter until -- or unless -- he proves ill-suited for the role.
But with Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Shaun Marcum and Dillon Gee all confirmed members of the rotation, Mejia will join Zack Wheeler in Triple-A Las Vegas to begin the year. If he pitches well, he could beat Wheeler to New York.
That is assuming he finds his way to Florida first. Delayed in the Dominican Republic, Mejia is still at least a week away from joining the Mets, according to Collins.