NEW YORK -- Ronny Cedeno owes Andy Pettitte a thank you.
The shortstop, who has been on the disabled list since May 30 with a strained left calf, rejoined the Mets on Friday, and manager Terry Collins wasted no time getting him back in the starting lineup. Cedeno hit just just .172 (5-for-29) in seven rehab games with Triple-A Buffalo -- he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his final game on Thursday -- but Andy Pettitte's historic dominance over left-handed hitters meant that the right-handed-hitting Cedeno got the nod.
"I was surprised, but I have to be ready for any situation," Cedeno said before Friday's game. "I'm going to do the best I can tonight and just play hard."
The struggles in the box, according to Cedeno, stemmed from timing issues as a result of an extended absence, but he said prior to Friday's game that seeing "hard throwing" pitchers at the Triple-A level will help him get back on track.
But if one comes up, one must go down -- in this case reliever Elvin Ramirez, who was optioned to Buffalo by the Mets.
The move leaves the Mets with only six arms in the bullpen, but Collins said the decision was an easy one.
"With the way our starters have been going deep into games, it's been tough to give [Ramirez] enough work to keep him sharp," he said.
In five appearances, Ramirez allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits over seven innings, statistics Collins also attributed to a lack of work. Since making his first appearance of the season on June 3, Ramirez had seen action roughly every third day, but the skipper said the workload still wasn't consistent enough to help the right-hander progress.
"He's a young guy and has a huge future ahead of him, he's just not getting the work he needs to improve here," Collins said. "We just want to get him down and get him pitching, because I know there's a good chance he's going to be back anyway pretty soon. But he's got to go pitch."