Mejia building arm strength before return to Mets

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TORONTO -- Despite a three-inning start Saturday for Double-A Binghamton, and his current use in the rotation, Jenrry Mejia will be penciled in for the Mets' bullpen when he's ready to be called up. Mejia, less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, has a 2.57 ERA in three minor-league starts with 11 strikeouts and two walks in 14 innings.

"It's a process of getting him back 100-percent healthy," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "There are fast healers, and he's one of them, which is great because it's going to be a process of getting some innings, getting a feel for secondary pitches, getting in a workload and building up his arm strength."

Collins said he doesn't have the "faintest idea" when Mejia will join the Mets, but stressed the need for him to be strong enough to handle a relief role.

"We have to make sure he can come back," Collins said, "because when he gets here, most likely, it's going to be out of the bullpen. So as he builds up his arm strength, then we've got to test him somehow as a reliever in the minor leagues."

Batista on DL

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The Mets placed Miguel Batista on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning with what the team described as a lower back strain, but what the pitcher said is a strained oblique.

Asked about his treatment, Batista joked about the stimulation therapy used to speed up recovery. "There's a lot of electricity," he said. "I'll be a battery by the end of this."

Righthander Chris Schwinden, 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA as a Triple-A Buffalo starter, was called up and slotted to be a long reliever.

Jeremy Hefner will take Batista's vacated rotation spot.

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