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Mets’ Kodai Senga to start on regular rest Sunday vs. Blue Jays

New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) follows through after delivering a pitch during the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field

So far in his first season in the majors, Kodai Senga pitched with an extra day of rest in between starts to help transition into a new schedule. After two months, the Mets will now move the right-hander to pitching on regular rest for Sunday’s start.

“He’s in the final steps he’s operating at as close to 100 percent as anyone is at this time of the year. So far so good,” Buck Showalter said regarding Senga’s schedule. “As we go forward, we’ve been more than cautious with it. We’re more than two months into the season. You modify the stuff that he does in between. We’ve modified how many pitches he’s thrown. We’ve had some opportunities to do it but it was too early.”

The team announced Senga’s start prior to Friday’s season opener against the Blue Jays.

GM Billy Eppler discussed the move for Senga and referenced other Japanese pitchers in their first year pitching in the United States such as Shohei Ohtani and Masahiro Tanaka and how they transitioned.

Eppler was part of the Angels and Yankees front offices when both pitchers were on the roster.

“One of the things you look for is how they recover,” Eppler said. “We use the subjective feedback from the player. We are also looking at the objective data.”

Senga will take the mound against Toronto and his fellow countryman Yusei Kikuchi (6-2, 4.47 ERA) on Sunday.

So far in 2023, Senga is 5-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 10 starts. Most recently, Senga earned the win on Tuesday when he tossed seven one-hit innings of shutout ball against the Phillies with nine strikeouts.