May 17.10: Does the Mejia yo-yo begin?

Desperate times call for desperate measures and the Mets are toying with the idea of fixing their damaged rotation with Jenrry Mejia. There is now talk of sending Mejia to the minors to stretch him out in preparation of making him a starter.

The rotation is where the Mets wanted Mejia all along, but instead of starting him in the minors they opted to use him in a variety of roles out of the bullpen on the major league level. It only shows they didn’t have a real plan.

I don’t like the idea of bouncing Mejia around and wonder what impact it could have on his development. He seems to be handling things well in his present role and believe they would be better off just keeping him here and getting him ready for the rotation next spring.

We all saw how they rushed Bobby Parnell. Maybe Parnell wasn’t going to make it all along, but there’s no telling how the change of roles hindered his development. I know, I know, you’re going to say Parnell is terrible, but would he be so bad if they had a plan and stuck with it?

We really don’t know, and I’d hate to see the same mistakes made with Mejia.

29 thoughts on “May 17.10: Does the Mejia yo-yo begin?

  1. jenrry throws almost exclusively fastballs.

    he seems to have a confidence on the mound in the role he is given.

    if he goes to the minors for a few games to ‘stretch himself out’, how will this teach him how to pitch? how to work the plate with speeds and location. how to set up hitters. how to see them again and not get clobbered.

    remember, at one time parnell was lights out too.

  2. (1) “if he goes to the minors for a few games to ’stretch himself out’, how will this teach him how to pitch?”

    Can I get a BINGO for Dave? lol

  3. You would think a pitching coach can stretch out a pitcher. But it appears that the mets dont have one. and have to rely on the minors to teach the kids everything they need to know.
    or have the psychologist get whatever out of their heads,. probably Warthen’s bad advice. It worked for Pelf I think it will work for maine because they both have the pitches.
    Why Mejia is there with on pitch and no confidence in the others tells me .. he isnt ripe yet. speed will give him only a good 2 years.
    Is it me or is this the first time we have no pitching coach?

  4. Stretching a pitcher out is a multi-dimensional thing. Sure, on the surface it is building the stamina. It also entails developing his pitch arsenal and how to set up pitchers. Currently, Mejia is getting by mostly on his smoke. He doesn’t know how to pace himself and set up hitters with a variety of pitches. That all takes time.-JD

  5. (4) Which is why he should have stayed in the minors in the first place. To learn how to pitch.

  6. M&M felt he had what it took. it worked for maine and pelfrey. kinda ;-)
    *sigh*

    too late to learn the ways of the force..

    so much for consistency.

  7. “The rotation is where the Mets wanted Mejia all along, but instead of starting him in the minors they opted to use him in a variety of roles out of the bullpen on the major league level. It only shows they didn’t have a real plan.”

    Plan? What plan? We don’t need no steenking plan!

  8. I hate to disagree here, but why was does pitching six innings against the Reading Phillies have more developmental value than one inning against big-league hitters? Why does having Mike Nickeas as your catcher teach you more than having Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco?

    I’ve been having this same discussion elsewhere, and the Mejia-should-be-in-the-minors crowd seems to think there’s one logical route from point A to point B. I’ve argued that, so long as Mejia isn’t getting buried by big-league hitters, he might as well learn his craft against them. Indeed, I think the six weeks he’s spent up here is going to be worth far more to him than had he spent those six same weeks dominating minor-league hitters.

    He’s already struck out a handful of good-to-elite big-league hitters with his curveball, a pitch which his detractors say needs more development. To be sure, he needs consistency with it, but it’s there and I’m guessing the “learning” when and where to throw it is something that might best be taught by a nurturing veteran big-league catcher. In other words, if Mejia only needs to stretch out his arm to be a starter in the bigs, that’s a testament to Barajas and Blanco.

    The way this experiment has gone, the only negative I see is that Mejia will need a few weeks to stretch his arm out. Would anyone be complaining had he started in the year in the minors and then been called up to start in June? What’s more, the Mets actually got some benefit from him during these six weeks, as he took innings away from less favorable choices like Parnell and Green.

    One final thought: There have been future Cy Young winners who similarly started in the pen because, while they weren’t fully developed as starters, their stuff was too good to leave in the minors. Off the top of my head, I can think of one named Hershiser and another named Pedro something or another.

  9. yes.

    jenrry has been useful in the pen and has a confidence about him. i said that above.

    he is also what 20/21. how much time has he had in the minors learning to pitch?

    how much success has he had doing the same?

    as for hershiser. he pitched in college and was drafted at 21. at 24 he was called up. he had 3 years in the minors and college ball experience.

    Jenrry was 18 when drafted and is now 20. he has had limited organized baseball experience. i think comparing him to orel is a bad comparison if you want to compare like experience before being called up.

  10. (10, 11) We can debate this all day. And that’s my point: It’s not a clear-cut situation where the Mets are wrong and have no idea what they’re doing.

    As for learning, I agree that he hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to learn in the minors. But if he can learn at the big-league level without getting his lunch handed to him, what’s the benefit of putting him in the minors, anyway?

  11. So we all agree. ;-)
    It never really is clear. many people thought it was too soon for maine and pelfrey. whether it was or wasnt they both broke out of shells created new ones then broke out again.
    I believe it will always be per individual. nothing is cut n paste.
    just like the pitch counts :-P
    sorry couldnt resist.

  12. (13) Actually, the data doesn’t agree with you regarding pitch counts.

    If you want a good example, check out Scott Kazmir. As a member of the Rays, he consistently was among the league leaders in pitches thrown while still in his early 20s. (If you check out his game logs, you will see that Tampa often left him in for 110-120 pitches.) He’s lost mileage off his fastball and he’s been battling arm problems. There’s a good bet that he peaked at age 24, because his manager didn’t believe in pitch counts.

  13. 12

    The benefit as I post above is that he can learn to pitch. That is, learn how to control the non fastball pitches; learn how to go through a lineup several times; learn how to set up an hitter; learn how to pace himself as a starter.

    Yes. He can learn things at the major league level. The most important of which is confidence. He can pitch to quality hitters and get them out or get hit. He does all this to one or more batters in a game. To accomplish this he throws 95% heat because he can. This is because he can wear himself out because he is on the mound for at most 10 minutes.

    A starter does things differently. I think we need him as a starter not as a reliever.

    My question is simple.

    What pitchers do we have in the minors that are projected to be top of the order starters?

    From all that I have read the past few years the answer is none. Perhaps Familia or Allen who are in A ball.

    Jenrry was by all offseason experts the top prospect in the system. He has by all accounts a live arm. So what do we do?

    We take the only pitcher we have in the minors – and also the only player everyone is excited about – who projects to be top of the line starter and rush him so he can do mop up as a reliever in the hopes that he can help us win a game or two this year.

    As JD has stated since the season started, if he is projected by the org as a reliever fine. But if he is projected as a starter what the hell are we doing with him?

    Dave

  14. 14

    as a counter to your argument, look at our staff. We believe in pitch counts, yet Maine and Ollie have lost velocity on their fastballs. They are both under 30 but have lost the ability to throw faster than 90.

  15. honestly I think its the knowing that they have thrown too many pitches and that each pitch means they will be taken out. its messing with their heads. Look at Pelf yesterday when he got taken out for no good reason. I truly believe he could have finished the 8th inning.
    Pedro almost blew it and K-Rod had us eating our hearts.
    Where was pelf’s reward for pitching a damned good game? taken out when he proved all game long he could pitch out of a jam.
    M&M give faith where there’s none earned .. and lack faith when it has been earned.. no way to manage a game. but hey its the pitch count. so we lose every game because the relievers are burnt. so be it…

  16. SteveC

    I agree.

    I don’t like KRod. I had heard when he was a free agent that he lost speed on his fastball. Well, it looks like he has. I have not seen him throw north of 90. He is also all over the place. That is because his body is all over the place.

    I just don’t trust him.

    At least with Wagner he could gas it by ppl. Yes. that is all he had and so the good fastball hitters clobbered him.

  17. (15) I don’t see how Mejia’s timetable is slowed down by this, unless you think six weeks of learning against AA/AAA hitters would have been more valuable to him.

    Is he throwing predominantly fastballs? Absolutely. But, as noted previously, he’s struck out a handful of good-to-elite MLB hitters with his curve.

    As for the mental aspect of going through an order multiple times, that’s really on the guy who’s calling the pitches — which isn’t likely to be Mejia anytime soon. If you listen to Ron Darling, he’ll talk about how easy it was as a young pitcher to let Gary Carter do all the thinking for him. I suspect Mejia’s time with Barajas and Blanco will serve him much better than throwing to Josh Thole at AAA.

  18. (16) I invite you to look at the data between arm injuries and pitch counts. There’s not a lot of room for opinion for there.

  19. (17) Why would a pitcher know it’s best to take him out? Does he have some kind of mechanism to know that throwing another five pitches will likely lead to an arm injury?

    I hear Ron Darling say that he doesn’t believe in pitch counts — yet, by age 26, he regressed into a league-average pitcher, most likely because of the number of pitches thrown before then. If he can’t put two and two together on that, should we expect other pitchers to?

  20. 19

    i want him in the minors this year and next.

    then he can enter the rotation.

    as for the mental aspect, i agree. pitchers are stupid machines. they do not have the capacity to think for themselves.

    by the above logic, the reason pelfrey has had problems the last few years is because the catcher is stupid. The reason ollie can’t pitch is because of barajas and blanco. what makes you think they can help mejia?

  21. (24) Yes, pitchers know how to call a game against big-league hitters when they’re young. That’s priceless. You really oughta put a 21-yr-old in the booth next to Keith and Ron, and see if the youngster can call the pitches the way they do.

    As for the logic question, again you are 100 percent right. Since we all know that pitching is entirely dependent on the catcher, we can safely say that the pitcher’s own stuff should not factor into the equation. Good point on your part; I’m actually embarrassed to have missed it.

    Maybe you can answer me these two questions:

    1.) How do we know Ollie wouldn’t be even _worse_ with a lesser catcher behind the plate?

    2.) Did the Mets actively pursue veteran, defensive-minded catchers during the off-season because, they said publicly, they didn’t think the previous crew was nurturing the pitching staff? Did I read this somewhere — or was that just the after-effects of some of that crack I’d been smoking? Let me know. Because I’d hate to think Pelfrey’s catchers were “stupid,” but Met management pretty much said as much, but I can’t confirm it because I was probably too high to remember it correctly.

  22. (28) Don’t let the “i wouldn’t know” answer stop you from making contradictory observations, OK?