8/23/2014 2:14 A.M. ET
Mejia battling through aches and pains
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Two days after a sore back kept him out of a save situation in Oakland, Mets closer Jenrry Mejia showed up at Dodger Stadium on Friday feeling spry enough to pitch. But that did not entirely ease the Mets' worries about their closer.
"I don't want to use the word 'concerned,' but we're cognizant of the fact that he hasn't done this throughout the season," manager Terry Collins said, "and we're getting into the final six weeks of the season where the wear and tear starts to show in some areas. We're kind of trying to make sure we're taking care of all those guys back there."
Collins was referencing the fact that Mejia has endured a litany of minor injuries this season, in addition to the major elbow and shoulder problems that vexed him in previous years. This season alone, Mejia has battled through a bunion, a forearm contusion, a blister on his throwing hand, a hernia that will require surgery this autumn, a bout of calf soreness and multiple lower back issues. Though Collins has expressed some concern that Mejia is overly sensitive to the aches and pains that every player has, the Mets are nonetheless proceeding with caution.
"He's missed time in every season," Collins said. "So for him to have a complete season, even though he's had a couple of nicks and scrapes … to get through it still is a major accomplishment for him."
Mejia's injury history, however, will play a role in the Mets' decision at closer going forward. There is a decent chance Bobby Parnell will not return from Tommy John surgery until May or June, making the closer's role a Spring Training competition among Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Vic Black and anyone else the Mets decide to import this winter.
A strong, fully healthy run at closer might have given Mejia the advantage over everyone -- including Parnell. But Collins painted a different picture Friday.
"Obviously when Bobby Parnell comes back, he will be pitching during his rehab as if he's the closer, because that's certainly our plan when he gets back," Collins said. "Now there's nothing etched in stone because certainly somebody could stand up and show up and say, 'I'm going to take that job,' and then when Bobby's ready we've got a nice problem on our hands."
Regarding Mejia's health history, Collins added: "It's going to have a lot to say. The object is to get out there a lot."
Montero optioned to make room for deGrom
LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Montero's second big league stint was even shorter than his first.
The Mets optioned Montero back to Triple-A Las Vegas after Friday's loss to the Dodgers, clearing roster space to activate Jacob deGrom from the 15-day disabled list. DeGrom will start Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
Montero, the Mets' sixth-ranked prospect, posted a 4.87 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance, actually reducing his season ERA to 5.23. He had produced a 5.40 mark over his first four career starts in May, originally receiving a big league callup before deGrom.
The latter has leapfrogged Montero on the depth chart, leaving him to work out his kinks in the Minors. Montero has had few issues there this season, going 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 15 starts for Las Vegas. The Mets could call him back up as a reliever once rosters expand in September, hoping to keep his innings total around 185-190.
Prospect Hilario knocked unconscious, airlifted
LOS ANGELES -- Friday's Rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets game was suspended in the fourth inning, after a baserunning collision left first base prospect Manuel Hilario unconscious.
The Mets released a statement later Friday describing the situation:
"In the fourth inning of today's Gulf Coast League game, first baseman Manuel Hilario slid into second base [feet first], colliding with the Nationals shortstop. He took a knee to the head and immediately began to experience seizures and remained unresponsive.
"After treatment on the field he was airlifted to an area hospital via helicopter. At the hospital he was administered a CT scan, which appears to be normal. He is talkative, in good spirits and could be discharged tomorrow."
Hilario, 22, has been in the Mets organization since 2011. He is batting .237 in 32 games this season.
Colon activated from bereavement list
LOS ANGELES -- The Mets activated starting pitcher Bartolo Colon from the bereavement list on Friday, optioning reliever Gonzalez Germen to Triple-A Las Vegas. Colon will start Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
Colon had been away from the team since Monday, when he left to be with his gravely ill mother, who passed away later in the week. He plans to fly back to the Dominican Republic after Sunday's game for the funeral, then return to the Mets in time for his next start.
Germen, 26, appeared in only one game during his second stint with the Mets this season. He allowed two runs in one inning against the A's.
• Shortstop Wilmer Flores was spiked in the right hand while attempting to tag out Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke in the sixth inning Friday. X-rays were negative and Flores remained in the game, though he sported a heavy wrap on his hand afterward.