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New York — Right-hander Miguel Batista has been designated for assignment by the New York Mets, clearing a path for top prospect Matt Harvey of Mystic to make his major league debut Thursday in Arizona.
The Mets recalled righty Elvin Ramirez on Sunday before playing the Los Angeles Dodgers to help a bullpen that has been overworked.
Mets Manager Terry Collins said he hopes Batista clears waivers and agrees to pitch in the minors.
The 41-year-old Batista gave up four runs and five hits while making a spot start for Dillon Gee on Saturday. Gee is likely out for the season after having a blood clot removed from his pitching shoulder then surgery to repair the artery. With Johan Santana on the 15-day disabled list because of an injured ankle and Mike Pelfrey out for the season, the Mets are short on options for their rotation.
Rookie Jeremy Hefner will start Wednesday against Washington. The Mets tweeted after losing to the Dodgers 8-3 that Harvey would be at Citi Field on Monday and will start the first game of the Mets road trip on Thursday.
The Mets had been reluctant to rush the 23-year-old to the majors. Collins said earlier Sunday only that he was an option.
But New York lost for the ninth time in 10 games to fall under .500 (47-48) for the first time this year and they needed to do something to help the rotation.
Harvey gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings for Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday.
"Last night was one of those situations when Wally thought his mind was in New York, not necessarily in Buffalo, which I understand," Collins said of Buffalo manager Wally Backman's opinion of Harvey's outing.
The seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft is 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA for Buffalo. He will be on regular rest if he pitched Thursday.
Batista was 1-3 with a 4.82 ERA for the Mets, including five starts over 30 appearances this year. The journeyman has played for 10 teams and is 102-115 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 big league seasons.
"Miguel's done a great job here," Collins said. "He brings a lot to the party as far as his clubhouse presence ... and he's a good job. Whenever you call his name he pitches."