Jenrry Mejia wants to be a starting pitcher going forward

Tonight at Miller Park, Jenrry Mejia will make his first start since September 15, 2010 against the Pirates at Citi Field.

“I am excited. I want to be a starter and that’s what they want me to do, so I’m excited about it,” Mejia told reporters yesterday. “I want to show them I want to be a starter and I can do my job like a starter.”

Mejia went 2-3 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A Buffalo this season – he went 1-1 with a 5.48 ERA in 16 relief appearances for the Bisons.

“I’m anxious to see how he handles it,” Terry Collins said. “He’s healthy again. I’ve seen him start in the minor leagues and I was one guy who thought, ‘Why can’t he start?’ He’s a maximum-effort guy. But there’s no reason why somebody can’t do that.”

Mejia underwent Tommy John Surgery last May, and missed most of the 2011 season and the first part of the 2012 season.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Updated from September 10: I’m looking forward to seeing Mejia tonight. And, I think it’s important he strive to be a starting pitcher in the big leagues, regardless of what he’s been told, what scouts think he is, or even what role Terry Collins and the organization thinks he will be in going forward.

He’s been jerked around between the rotation and the bullpen ever since he came on the Mets radar, and so it’s going to be important they determine who and what he is and stick to a plan with him. He does profile as a reliever, but that doesn’t mean he will ultimately be a reliever. Right now, he is most comfortable as a starting pitcher, and so the Mets need to see what he’s capable of doing in a role he’s found success in recently.