Starting rotation to change again with addition of Jonathon Niese

Jonathon Niese of the Mets delivers a pitch Jonathon Niese of the Mets delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on May 05, 2014 in Miami. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rob Foldy

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The starting rotation could look a bit different once the Mets come back from the All-Star break.

With lefthander Jonathon Niese (left shoulder strain) expected to come off the disabled list, the Mets will have to free up a spot.

Manager Terry Collins said Daisuke Matsuzaka could be sent back to the bullpen. He also raised the possibility that rookie Jacob deGrom will be temporarily used in relief to help keep him under his innings limit.

"I haven't been told anything," Matsuzaka said through a translator. "So I'll think about it when it happens, if it happens."

Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.55 ERA) allowed four runs in six innings with 10 strikeouts and did not get a decision in Saturday's 5-4 win over the Marlins.

"Daisuke has done everything we've asked him to do," Collins said of Matsuzaka, who prefers to remain a starter.

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But deGrom (2-5, 3.38 ERA) has a 1.75 ERA in his last four starts. The righthander will start Sunday against the Marlins.

Niese will throw Sunday for team officials, who hope to gauge his progress entering the All-Star break. Righthander Bartolo Colon is scheduled to start in San Diego on Friday, the Mets' first game after the break.

Extra bases

Righthander Jeremy Hefner pitched a scoreless inning Saturday in a Gulf Coast League game, his first action since Tommy John surgery last August. He's expected to pitch two innings in another GCL game Wednesday . . . Daniel Murphy, who won't have much of an All-Star break, likely will be given a day off Sunday. Murphy is the Mets' lone representative at the Midsummer Classic. Eric Campbell would be the likely candidate to start in his place . . . Top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard and catcher Kevin Plawecki will represent the Mets in Sunday's Futures Game in Minneapolis.

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