LOS ANGELES - Mets manager Terry Collins on Saturday stopped short of saying that closer Jenrry Mejia owes his teammates an apology.
But when the reliever returns from his PED suspension Tuesday, Collins expects him to address his teammates about the error in judgment that will make him ineligible for the playoffs if the Mets qualify.
"He is going to probably say something, yes," Collins said. "I think he has to. I think it's important for him to just basically say, hey, we're moving forward here, I'm helping to move forward. He was a big part of this team. When you talked to him after he got suspended, he was heartbroken."
Mejia, 25, emerged as the Mets' closer last season, posting a 3.65 ERA and racking up 28 saves. But he suffered an elbow injury before he was hit with an 80-game suspension in April. Jeurys Familia has since excelled as the closer and will keep that job upon Mejia's return.
Mejia pitched in a second consecutive game with Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday and is on track to rejoin the team Tuesday.
Though Collins does not have a defined role in mind for Mejia, he has no qualms about trusting him in big spots, even if his services might not be available in October.
"He'll add another piece to the back end, which will be nice to have," Collins said. "We know he can pitch a lot. We know he's got quality stuff. And he's coming at the right time because we're facing a lot of quality hitters here in the next month."
The Mets expect leftfielder Michael Cuddyer (left knee soreness) back in the starting lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Dodgers. Cuddyer has not started since Tuesday . . . Lefthanded reliever Jerry Blevins (fractured left arm) has started throwing, though the Mets have no sense of a potential return date.