NEW YORK -- Rather than send highly regarded prospect Jenrry Mejia back to the Minor Leagues to stretch out as a starter, the Mets opted to keep Mejia on the roster following Saturday's 5-3 win over the Yankees, instead optioning Manny Acosta to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for reliever Ryota Igarashi.
With Igarashi ready to return from his stay on the 15-day disabled list, the Mets needed to make space on their roster -- and manager Jerry Manuel indicated as recently as this week that the team might use the opportunity to send Mejia back to the Minors.
But about an hour after Mejia pitched into and out of a seventh-inning jam in Saturday's win, Manuel announced the demotion of Acosta.
Asked what the team plans to do with Mejia, Manuel said simply: "Do what he did tonight -- seventh inning."
Asked if the team still plans to make Mejia a starter, Manuel said: "We haven't made any announcement as to what direction we're going to go with that."
Previously, Manuel has stated that he needs the right-handed Mejia to give him flexibility late in games. But Igarashi, who produced a 1.35 ERA before straining his left hamstring in April, is capable of filling a similar role.
-- Anthony DiComo