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No longer a phenom, pitcher Jenrry Mejia glad to be back after Tommy John surgery

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia throws a bullpen session

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia throws a bullpen session during spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

ST. LOUIS — Jenrry Mejia was beaming in the Mets clubhouse Tuesday afternoon, happy finally to get back on track to a big-league career. Recalled from Buffalo 16 months after Tommy John surgery, the 22-year-old was not bothered by the fact that it is not the same fast track as 2010.

He never will forget his time as a phenom. “When I faced Alex Rodriguez,” he said with a grin, when he was asked for his most vivid reflection. “Second and third with two outs. It’s Alex Rodriguez, you know? The best hitter. He hit a ground ball to third. I was like, ‘Thank you!’”

What he didn’t mention was that, before the inning-ending at-bat May 22, 2010, Mejia struck out Mark Teixeira on a 97-mph fastball.

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