2) Instead of carrying five starting pitchers, and with Niese on the DL, Matsuzaka is likely to start the season in Triple-A, allowing the Mets to carry one extra bench player until a fifth starting pitcher is needed.
3) Why is Matsuzaka the odd man out and not Mejia? According to league rules, if Mejia starts the year in Triple-A, he must remain there for 10 days, which means he wouldn't be eligible to be promoted until April 10. Niese's pending start is April 6. The rule doesn't apply to Matsuzaka, who signed a minor-league deal.
4) Niese "feels good," Collins said, a day after throwing a 59-pitch outing in a Grapefruit League game. He had a cortisone shot in his sore elbow 10 days ago. He is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game April 1, start the season the disabled list and hopefully start April 6.
5) In the event Mejia needs time to recover after being his with a line drive on Friday, Matsuzaka would likely start April 4 and John Lannan or Niese would probably start April 6.