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05/23/10 1:35 PM ET

Mets option Acosta, keeping Mejia up

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

Coming tests will set plan for Maine

NEW YORK -- John Maine lost the argument. He's on the disabled list. And he's still not particularly happy about it.

"'Protest' is the wrong word," Maine said. "I understand where they're coming from, but of course I want to pitch every five days. I didn't want this to happen."

Maine did not agree with the diagnosis of "right shoulder weakness" that landed him on the 15-day DL prior to Friday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees, classifying it more as an acute type of pain.

"But what pitcher doesn't have pain?" Maine said. "It's the nature of pitching. It wasn't going to stop me from going every five days."

Instead, the Mets will stop him. Maine will undergo further examination in New York on Monday, at which point the team will decide whether he can continue pitching or will require an extended period of rest.

Maine not only expects the examination to reveal nothing, but he figures he will be able to come off the disabled list as soon as he is eligible -- now 14 days and counting.

More patient in their assessment, the Mets will wait for the results of Monday's testing before they make a decision one way or the other.

The owner of a 1-3 record and a 6.13 ERA in nine starts this season, Maine has never been the same since having surgery to shave a bone spur in his right shoulder after the 2008 season. This pain, Maine said, is nothing like that which forced him to miss more than three months of last season with right shoulder issues.

But it is pain nonetheless. And that, for the Mets, is troubling.

"I guess they want to get to the bottom of what's going in there once and for all," Maine said. "I feel that I'm more than capable of going out there every five days. But it's not my decision."

-- Anthony DiComo

Reyes' next thyroid test may be his last

NEW YORK -- Mets shortstop Jose Reyes will undergo what should be his final thyroid examination early next week.

Reyes, who had his thyroid imbalance checked as frequently as once per week when it was first diagnosed back in March, has not undergone a test in more than four weeks. As long as the results of his next exam come back normal -- and Reyes has no reason to believe they will not -- he should be done with the testing for good.

And that much, for the shortstop, is a relief.

"Believe me, yeah," Reyes said. "When you do a test, sometimes you think maybe something's wrong. So you want to get that out of your mind."

Reyes missed the first week of this season with a thyroid imbalance that required a strict regimen of rest to correct. He entered Saturday's play batting just .211 with no home runs.

-- Anthony DiComo

Not fully healthy, Castillo returns

NEW YORK -- As the season progresses, more and more of Luis Castillo's time is being spent in the trainer's room.

"A lot, man," Castillo said.

Nevertheless, Castillo was back in the Mets' lineup on Saturday, amidst worries that the bone bruise in his left foot will eventually need an extended period of rest.

"It's almost like he's playing with a little rock in his shoe," manager Jerry Manuel said. "You can play with it, but there's going to be some discomfort."

Castillo sat out Friday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees, and Manuel indicated that he would try to give his second baseman another day of rest on Saturday. But with an orthopedic pad in his shoe and a wrap around his foot, Castillo decided that he would attempt to play.

"I'm going to go out there and give everything that I have," he said.

-- Anthony DiComo

Mets may use Dickey out of bullpen

NEW YORK -- Though R.A. Dickey gave the Mets more than they hoped for last Wednesday against the Nationals, he may not have done enough to earn another start.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel indicated that Raul Valdes will likely receive the start in Dickey's place on Tuesday against the Phillies. Bullpen usage this weekend against the Yankees will dictate Manuel's plans, but if the Mets need a long man on Saturday or Sunday, they will turn to Dickey instead of Valdes.

Wanting to pit the left-handed Valdes against Philadelphia's lefty-heavy lineup, Manuel also said that he hoped to reward Valdes for his five sharp innings in relief of John Maine on Thursday in Washington.

"You'd like to reward him," Manuel said. "But you might not want to reward him against the Phillies."

Still, Manuel is leaning in that direction. With an off-day Monday, the Mets will skip Maine's turn in the rotation, bringing back Hisanori Takahashi and Mike Pelfrey on short rest against the Phillies for the final two games of the series.

-- Anthony DiComo

Johan eager to show Yanks true stuff

NEW YORK -- Mets ace Johan Santana is ready to make amends for last year.

In Santana's only start against his team's crosstown rivals in 2009, the Yankees tattooed the left-hander for nine runs in three innings on their way to a 15-0 rout.

Santana will have a chance to redeem himself when he gets the start at Citi Field on Sunday night against fellow ace CC Sabathia in the Subway Series finale.

"It motivates me," Santana said. "I don't go crazy about it, but it's there. I want to pitch against them again. Just like the game in Philadelphia [this year], it's just one game."

With starters Jonathon Niese and John Maine on the disabled list, and Oliver Perez moved to the bullpen due to ineffectiveness, the Mets are counting on Santana and Mike Pelfrey to be their constants, a role Santana has filled his whole career.

"I wish I could pitch every day, but that's not the case -- I can't," Santana said. "We're going through a tough time with some injuries and stuff, but we have to keep playing the game. And every time we're out there, I'm trying to help."

-- Kyle Maistri

Full repertoire helping Takahashi

NEW YORK -- In sum, Hisanori Takahashi's repertoire includes six pitches -- a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, changeup, curveball, slider and sinker. And variations thereof.

"It's almost like it's a video game," said Rod Barajas, who caught Takahashi's six scoreless innings on Friday night. "You can control it. You can make the ball move wherever you want to different locations. You have a comfort level as a catcher because regardless of the count, you can call anything and there's a good chance it's going to be a strike."

In his Major League starting debut, Takahashi struck out Nick Swisher and Derek Jeter on what Barajas called his best pitch -- a late-moving changeup that breaks away from right-handed hitters.

"The changeup is probably his pitch," Barajas said. "It has that tumbling, late sink on it where it's there one second, you go to swing at it and it just kind of disappears at the last moment."

-- Anthony DiComo

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Kyle Maistri is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.