Vargas is expected to open the season in the Mets' rotation, despite making his most recent Grapefruit League appearance out of the bullpen, Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports.

It appears that Vargas was only moved to the bullpen March 11 against the Astros to stay on his normal pitching schedule while Jacob deGrom (back) was reintegrated in the rotation for his spring debut. Vargas still ended up throwing 36 pitches in the outing, so he'll presumably inch closer to the 50-pitch mark in his next appearance, which is expected to come Friday versus the Orioles. After inking a two-year contract with the Mets this winter, Vargas should enjoy some temporary security in the rotation, but he'll likely need to perform respectably early in the season to avoid surrendering his spot to the loser of the two pitchers battling for the No. 5 starting role, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz.

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