Jenrry Mejia was hammered this afternoon by Miami in his spring training debut, giving up a grand slam in a five-inning first inning in the Mets’ 7-5 loss.
Mejia gave up five runs on four hits in a 30-pitch inning. Apparently, few of those pitches were effective.
Terry Collins said Mejia didn’t have the darting cut on his fastball, and suggested the problem could be attributed to having Tommy John surgery after the 2010 season. That was the year Mejia was rushed as a reliever, demoted to the minor leagues where he started, then was injured.
The Mets still don’t know Mejia’s eventual role. He’s expected to start this year, but pitching coach Dan Warthen and minor league manager Wally Backman believe he’s better suited for the bullpen. Collins admitted to that after the game.
Mejia is expected to open the season in the minor leagues unless there’s an injury in the rotation.
WRIGHT CAPTAINCY UPDATE: Collins is polling the clubhouse for opinions on David Wright’s potential captaincy.
Collins wants this done prior to Opening Day, and it is impossible to think his teammates will vote him down.
Wright would covet the honor, and said he prefers it come from within the clubhouse.
“If it were to happen, and that’s a big if because I haven’t talked to anybody about it, I would want it to be a group decision, or be OK with my teammates,’’ Wright told reporters in Port St. Lucie. “It’s not something that should be anointed. Or, it’s not something that ownership or the front office or the manager for that matter should appoint you that. It’s got to be something that is OK with the clubhouse, because in my opinion that’s the most important.’’
It is almost a foregone conclusion, and it has been that way for several years, that Wright would be named captain.
Wright will play Wednesday and Friday before leaving for the WBC.
METS NOTEBOOK: Ruben Tejada, who hasn’t played the last two games with a strained right quad, is expected to play Wednesday against St. Louis. … Ex-Met reliever Jon Rauch pitched a perfect inning for Miami. … Veteran pitchers LaTroy Hawkins and Shaun Marcum are spending extra time long-tossing to strengthen their arms before getting into spring training games. Marcum did pitch last Saturday, but said he needs more time. Marcum is the projected fifth starter and Hawkins is expected to get a spot in the bullpen. … Pitching prospect Erik Goeddel was struck in the face by a ball and could undergo surgery.