By Ed Coleman
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The Mets made a pitching change on Wednesday, calling up right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka from Triple-A Las Vegas and sending down left-hander John Lannan to make room.
Matsuzaka had made two starts at Las Vegas, pitching to a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings with 12 strikeouts. In his last start, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and left with a shutout after seven. For now, Matsuzaka will work out of the bullpen, but he also serves as a hedge against two starting pitchers who are flirting with injuries.
Bartolo Colon, scheduled to pitch Saturday, has been dealing with back spasms. And Jenrry Mejia, who just pitched Tuesday, had to leave after five innings because a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand broke open.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson on the move:
Meanwhile, Lannan was asked to do something he had never done before — work out of the bullpen. And wasn’t given much time to acclimate to it. In five appearances, Lannan had a 15.75 ERA, but he did pick up a win in the extra-inning victory over the Angels on Saturday night by pitching two scoreless innings.
Lannan was a fifth-starter candidate during spring training but that job went to Mejia. The Mets were searching for a second lefty out of the pen and tabbed Lannan for that duty. In fairness, he wasn’t given a great deal of time to make the adjustment from starter to reliever.
On another issue, Alderson was asked how long the Mets would continue with three first basemen.
Lucas Duda will continue to get the majority of playing time at first base.
Also, Chris Young re-joined the team in Arizona and will travel back to New York with the club. He will be activated to play on Friday against Atlanta at Citi Field. In three rehab games, Young went 8-for-12 with two homers, two doubles, two walks, five RBIs and a stolen base.
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