Jacob deGrom is back, and he's ready to finish what he started.
A National League Rookie of the Year contender, deGrom will return from a 15-day absence with right shoulder tendinitis to make Saturday's start for the Mets against the Dodgers.
"He's been a huge part of our starting staff," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "There's been stories written, and deservedly so, this guy's got to be a candidate for the Rookie of the Year with the job he's done and the numbers he's put up. So to get him back in the rotation is going to be major for us, and to make sure he gets through the next six weeks healthy."
The 26-year-old right-hander is 6-5 on the year with a 2.87 ERA in 100 1/3 innings. With a team-imposed 185-inning limit, deGrom's stint on the disabled list all but ensured that he'll be able to finish off the season without breaking that limit.
"I want to get to that number," deGrom said. "That way next year there's nothing to worry about, and I can pitch the whole year without having to worry about getting shut down or anything like that. I would really like to try to get to that number."
The rookie is also eager to pitch in September for the first time.
"It's very important," deGrom said. "I've never played this long [in a season]. Playing all the way to the end of September is very important to me. Hopefully it all works out and I stay healthy through the end of the year."
For the Dodgers, right-hander Zack Greinke will get the call. Originally scheduled to start Thursday, he was pushed back due to elbow discomfort.
He threw on flat ground Wednesday, off the bullpen mound Thursday and again on flat ground before Friday's opener with the Mets.
Greinke, who leads the Dodgers with 157 1/3 innings on the year, is good to go Saturday, manager Don Mattingly said.
Greinke threw five scoreless innings in his last start, but his command was noticeably off as he walked five batters and threw 99 pitches in an early exit and a no-decision.
Greinke is 12-8 on the year with a 2.75 ERA and 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.
Dodgers: Turner excelling in Uribe's place
Justin Turner called it one of the most exciting moments of his career.
The third baseman took a Tyson Ross slider and drilled it into the left-field bleachers, and without Turner's eighth-inning, two-run shot Thursday, the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw might have been 1-0 losers to the Padres. They won, 2-1.
It came a night before the Dodgers would host his former team, the Mets, whose decision to non-tender him came as a surprise to him and his manager.
But Turner found a new home with the Dodgers this offseason and has been a valuable piece, filling a reserve infielder role that Nick Punto had filled admirably last season.
"Obviously, Justin's had a good year at this point for us," Mattingly said. "All year long, it seems like from the very beginning, he struggled a little bit getting out of the gate, but he's been swinging the bat really well off the bench. Pinch-hitting, he's been really good, so pretty much everything about him has been good for us this year.
"He's been able to play multiple positions and give you good at-bats against righties and lefties, so there's really not a whole lot of negative that's going on with Justin."
Turner has been the starting third baseman in Juan Uribe's two stints on the disabled list this season. Since Uribe went on the disabled list Aug. 16 with a right hamstring strain, Turner has been batting .450 (9-for-20) with a home run and five RBIs.
Mets: Mejia battling through aches and pains
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," 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.
• Mattingly said that Hanley Ramirez (right oblique) is still on pace to return from the disabled list on Sunday and he will return at shortstop.
• The Mets activated starter Bartolo Colon from the bereavement list Friday, optioning reliever Gonzalez Germen to Triple-A Las Vegas. Colon will start Sunday against the Dodgers.
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.