Mejia says shoulder is fine, plans to play winter ball

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Mets right-hander Jenrry Mejia left his Wednesday start against the Pirates in the third inning after feeling some pain in the area of his shoulder, and it was announced this morning that he will be shut down for the rest of the 2010 season.

But it’s not all bad news for the 20-year-old prospect.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York caught up with Mejia Thursday, and it sure sounds like the injury is far from serious.

“It wasn’t a real bad pain,” Mejia said in Spanish. “I just wanted to be
careful so I didn’t make it worse than what it was. It’s better to know
it’s nothing that requires surgery or anything like that.”

Mejia said he expects the injury to heal in time for him to pitch for Licey in this year’s Dominican Winter League.  If all goes well there in his native country, and he follows it up with a strong spring training, the youngster will almost certainly open the 2011 season as a member of the Mets’ starting rotation.

He posted a 4.62 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and 22/20 K/BB ratio over 39 big-league innings this year.

Michael Wacha leaves game with a left oblique strain

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha suffered a strained left oblique muscle during his start this afternoon against the Phillies, causing him to leave in the fourth inning.

Wacha is 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 71/36 K/BB ratio in 84.1 innings across 15 starts this season with St. Louis. To the extent he has to miss some time — and obliques invariably send starters to the disabled list — potential fill-in candidates include John Gant, Daniel Poncedeleon and Dakota Hudson.