Jenrry Mejia gets the ball this afternoon against Miami. As of now, Mejia will be used as a starter, but there are those in the organization who believe he’s better suited for the bullpen.
Mejia prefers to start and has performed better in that role. Maybe it is because he has time to prepare for his assignment, maybe because he has more time to warm up, maybe it is an ego thing. Whatever it is, his 2.75 ERA as a starter compared to 5.48 ERA in relief, can’t be disputed.
Why can’t they make a decision with this guy?
The Mets screwed up with Mejia in 2010, when managing for his job, Jerry Manuel rushed an unproven Mejia to the Opening Day roster as a reliever because they didn’t have a quality bullpen. Manuel was clearly thinking in the short term rather than what was in the best interest of Mejia, and the Mets, in the long term.
Closer, set-up reliever, situational pitcher; the Mets bounced him around. Eventually they optioned him out and he started in the minors. Mejia was not prepared for the up-and-down work in the bullpen, and then stretching him out in midseason, he injured his arm and underwent surgery. He did not pitch with the Mets in 2011.
Once a highly touted prospect, and the subject of trade calls by other teams, Mejia’s value plummeted. The reasons were three-fold: 1) his performance; 2) the arm injury; and 3) if the Mets had no confidence in him, then why would another team?
Mejia was a prime example of rushing a pitcher, and looking at him should give the Mets pause if they even think about putting Zack Wheeler on the Opening Day roster. Reportedly, it will be Mejia or Jeremy Hefner, who will open the season in the major leagues if Johan Santana goes on the disabled list. Currently, the Mets are considering the foolish decision of trying to squeeze in a full spring training in a little over two weeks to prepare Santana for Opening Day.
That will be a decision that will boomerang on them in a bad way. Mejia is not the first pitcher the Mets rushed. They did the same with No. 1 pick Mike Pelfrey, who clearly wasn’t ready in terms of his demeanor, poise and control of his secondary pitches. They pushed Pelfrey because they were thin in the rotation. He struggled, was eventually injured and now is with Minnesota.
METS NOTEBOOK: Scott Atchison, Jeurys Familia, Cory Mazzoni, Hansel Robles and Carlos Torres are also scheduled to pitch. … Ruben Tejada did not play last night because of a strain in his right quadriceps and will not play today against the Marlins. Tejada sustained the same injury last season and missed six weeks. … Lucas Duda will work in the batting cage today to solve his mechanical flaws that lead to six strikeouts in seven at-bats.
NOTE: I will be back around noon.