Time For Mejia To Put Up

I’ve been hard on the Mets for their handling of Jenrry Mejia, and rightfully so for shuffling him between a bullpen and starter’s role. I thought Jerry Manuel did him a disservice in rushing him up here two years ago to work in relief when the Mets had no bullpen depth to speak of.

All indications are his arm is fine, but it is time for some accountability for his performance, which has been spotty. In the minors he posted better numbers starting than out of the pen, but he was lit up in his start with the Mets.

Mejia opens the Mets’ final homestand tonight against the fading Pirates, and after that might get one more start before the team calls it quits for the year.

What kind of impression will Mejia leave on Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and Dan Warthen?

As of now, when the 2013 rotation is projected, it does not include Mejia. The bullpen, well, that could be a different story. However, if the Mets project him in that role they should stick with that decision and see how it plays out. None of this failing in the bullpen in spring training and then being moved to the rotation in the minor leagues.

If it is the bullpen, it is time for Mejia to train their exclusively to get himself accustomed to the role and the demands of getting up numerous times to warm up, to entering the game with runners on base, to developing another out pitch to go along with his fastball.

The knock on Mejia working in the rotation is he hasn’t mastered his secondary pitches and doesn’t know how to set up hitters and challenge them. He also has a problem with a fastball that has plenty of velocity but not enough dip or lateral movement. Movement and not speed is the key to an overpowering fastball.

I don’t know what kind of damage was done to Mejia’s arm, and also psyche, during the juggling under Manuel. Maybe the arm injury would have occurred regardless as there’s little way of pinpointing the exact time it happened, especially if it is of a residual nature.

However, while the psyche is another issue, Mejia has to take some responsibility, also.

There’s a learning process to becoming a major league pitcher, and part of it is learning how to deal with adversity, handle pressure and act with poise. That is often the variable that ends careers. It is something Mike Pelfrey hasn’t mastered, and so too, Mejia.

Mejia can throw the hell out of the ball at times, but he hasn’t yet learned how to pitch.


5 thoughts on “Time For Mejia To Put Up

  1. Be nice if we had a pitching coach who could help Mejia no?
    Even in the pen he would need a second pitch. VERY few relievers have success with one pitch. Even the great Mariano has another pitch to throw every once in a while.
    After watching the guy last night, I am beginning to think the pen may be the best place. Too many pitches. Of course, if he throws 50 out of the pen in 2 innings, he would not be available for a day or so, so that could be a problem anyway.
    I’d like to see him pitch in winter ball, as a starter, and see how he does. If he doesn’t do well, then bullpen from the spring on. Maybe a closer in a year or so. Or a set up guy.

    • Ed: He had 70 pitches last night in the third inning. That’s no command at all. If the Pirates weren’t in such a funk they might have rocked him. … Considering he had arm surgery, I don’t think they’d send him to winter ball. … Starter or reliever? His heart says he wants to start so he should get that opportunity first. Part of his problem in working out of the bullpen is his heart isn’t in it.-JD

  2. I’d like to see him get some control.

    This is the knock on all young pitchers, but he seems to lack it more than others.