PHILADELPHIA -- The Mets may have signed Miguel Batista largely for his ability to serve as a spot starter. But Tuesday's outing will not be a spot start.
With Mike Pelfrey recovering from surgery, Chris Schwinden recently proving ineffective and Chris Young still at least a few weeks away from active duty, Batista is now a bona fide member of the rotation. The 41-year-old right-hander will receive plenty of rope to hold down a rotation spot, manager Terry Collins said, regardless of how he performs in Tuesday's game against the Phillies.
"He's going to get a few chances to show us what he can do," Collins said.
Battered for six runs over 3 2/3 innings of his only other start this season, Batista should be good for up to 85 pitches Tuesday. And if he takes to the role, he could stick around even after Young is ready to return from right shoulder surgery.
That could be sooner rather than later. Young is set to make his first Minor League rehab start Thursday for Class A St. Lucie, though his lengthy history of shoulder problems has the Mets proceeding cautiously.
"I don't know when Chris is going to be ready," Collins said. "You have a situation where if Miguel is pitching his brains out, that's going to be a tough decision to make when the time comes. Hopefully, it does come."