Even with his name and age confirmed, Jenrry Mejia’s hardball identity remains defined by a string of question marks. Starter or reliever? Legit prospect or dated heirloom? Someone the Mets can trust or someone they cannot?

A few years ago, Mejia – not Matt Harvey, not Zack Wheeler – was the most prized piece on the farm. Now he’s an arm of last resort, a fifth starter if Johan Santana is not healthy, if Jeremy Hefner stumbles, if, if, if …

On Tuesday afternoon, he added another pin to this clothesline of doubt. Mejia pitched just one inning. He allowed five runs, four earned.

The mistakes he made Tuesday mirrored the mistakes he made when he was called up last September. Of the eight batters he faced Tuesday, six were given the benefit of a 1-0 count. It was reminiscent of his first start last autumn, when he threw first-pitch balls to 14 of the 19 hitters he saw in a 9-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

"I [felt] ready," Mejia said after leaving the 7-5 loss to the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

He did not look ready. It took just three pitches before the afternoon slid from his grasp.

Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre bunted a 1-1 pitch back toward the mound. Mejia fielded the ball cleanly, then rifled it down the right-field line.

"That happens sometimes," Mejia said.

He gave up two singles and a walk before Casey Kotchman, a nine-year veteran who has never hit more than 14 home runs in a season, smacked a grand slam. Mejia fell behind 1-0. Then he threw a fastball.

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