D.J. Carrasco during the eighth inning of a game against...

D.J. Carrasco during the eighth inning of a game against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. (April 10, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

To make room for starter Chris Young to come off the disabled list and pitch Tuesday in Washington, the Mets Sunday optioned righthanded reliever D.J. Carrasco to Triple-A Buffalo, where he will join its starting rotation.

Dillon Gee, who came up and took Young's starts while he was recovering from biceps tendinitis, will remain with the Mets, most likely in the bullpen.

"We want the most effective group of pitchers we can have," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "Dillon does have to move into a different role, but we want to see how he performs. In the meantime, we need to get Carrasco back to where we know he can be effective."

Carrasco pitched one-third of an inning Sunday and allowed two hard doubles and a run.

Pridie to share CF

Jason Pridie hit his first career homer Sunday, but Terry Collins would not commit to him as the everyday centerfielder with Angel Pagan on the DL. He said Willie Harris and Scott Hairston will get some starts there.

Hairston was unavailable for a few days while recovering from what chiropractors said was whiplash. The injury occurred when he crashed into the wall, hitting his back and his head. "There is padding on the wall,'' he said, "but there's concrete behind the padding.'' He said yesterday's warm weather made him feel better.

Paulino day-to-day

Alderson said catcher Ronny Paulino (oblique) will be re-evaluated in Buffalo on Monday and could play there Monday night, but noted that he will not be activated until he has played under game conditions. "His return is at least day-to-day,'' Alderson said, "but we're not expecting him to be ready for Tuesday."