Major League Baseball running identity, age verification check on Jenrry Mejia

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia throws a bullpen session

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia throws a bullpen session during spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2012) (Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though Mets officials have been checking in every few days, they have yet to receive word on how long it will take to get pitcher Jenrry Mejia into camp.

Major League Baseball is running an identity and age verification check on Mejia, who was randomly selected for screening, according to the Mets. The process prevented him from getting his visa, thus delaying his entry into the country.

But even if Mejia's absence drags on, Mets manager Terry Collins is confident that his preparation for the season won't be affected.

"When he gets here, he's going to be in shape,'' Collins said. "He'll be able to go right into a game. There's no doubt in my mind. So if he misses another week or so, it's not like he's going to be so far behind where he's got to play long toss to 180 feet, throw a couple of bullpens, live .''

Mejia, 23, will be groomed as a starter during camp. Though the righthanded prospect likely will begin the season with Triple-A Las Vegas, the Mets envision him as one of the first options to be called up if a need arises in the starting rotation.

 

Wright takes day off

David Wright took his first day off since arriving at Port St. Lucie for voluntary workouts. Though position players were required to arrive Saturday, required workouts don't begin until Monday. Position players will have physicals Sunday.

"David's been out there for two straight weeks,'' Collins said. " . . . I'm not going to get too worried about it.''

Infielder Wilfredo Tovar is the only position player who missed reporting day.

 

Too cold for comfort

The Mets pushed back Sunday's scheduled workouts to noon in hopes of avoiding unseasonably frigid weather. According to Collins, temperatures are expected to stay below 30 degrees in the morning, though the mercury should climb to about 50 around midday.

 

Strikes in spare time

As they did last season, the Mets will gather at a local bowling alley as part of a team-building outing Sunday night, Collins said.

"The team's going to get out there and have some fun,'' he said. "We'll let everybody know we're wearing the same uniform.''

 

Santana update

Johan Santana will do one more long-toss session before throwing his first bullpen session.

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