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Mets apparently going back to five-man rotation

Manager Terry Collins of the New York Mets

Manager Terry Collins of the New York Mets watches from the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 4, 2015 in Phoenix. Credit: Getty Images / Christian Petersen

PHOENIX - In the Mets' latest about-face, their much publicized plan to employ a six-man starting rotation apparently has been scrapped.

Manager Terry Collins said on Friday that the team will adopt a "traditional" configuration, though he didn't elaborate.

Collins said it's possible that a starter will be moved into the bullpen. The Mets easily could revert to a five-man rotation by shifting Dillon Gee or Jonathon Niese into a relief role.

Whatever they do next, Collins made it clear that he's tired of dealing with the six-man rotation and its potential complications. "It's a pain in the [butt], literally," he said.

At the start of the season, the Mets set out to limit the innings of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, but without a prolonged shutdown during the season.

The six-man rotation, which began Wednesday when Gee came off the DL, was their initial answer.

The Mets still could shave some innings by adopting a five-man rotation but would have to take advantage of off days by staying on turn instead of skipping the fifth starter. During stretches without off days, a spot starter from the bullpen could take occasional turns in the rotation.

Such an alignment could provide one extra off day for pitchers but not two, perhaps the most troublesome complication of the six-man format. Mets pitchers had been lukewarm about a six-man rotation, concerned that their routines would be altered often.

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