Jenrry Mejia warms up 5

Dice-K must know his fate by Tuesday or he can leave Mets

The Mets will need to pay Daisuke Matsuzaka $100,000 on Tuesday at noon to retain him if they do not guarantee him a spot on the Opening Day roster (Rubin (ESPN) Mar. 24).

He is competing for the final spot in the starting rotation with Jenrry Mejia, who pitched five innings and held the Nationals to just one run, while striking out five batters Sunday. Matsuzaka starts against the Cardinals on Monday.

John Lannan, who was also competing for a starting job early in camp, will likely head to the bullpen as the team’s second lefty, Terry Collins said earlier this spring (MetsBlog, Feb. 19).

Dillon Gee is expected to get the Opening Day start, with Bartolo Colon and Zack Wheeler following him. Jon Niese will likely begin the season on the disabled list, but make his first start when the Mets need a fifth starter on April 6 (MetsBlog, March 20).

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

March 19: Mejia deserves to be in the rotation. He’s earned it. However, my understanding is that, because Matsuzaka can opt out if not on the roster by May 1, and because he could actually have trade value if he pitches well, and because Mejia has a history of injury and is lacking innings experience, it’s easier to just demote Mejia and keep Matsuzaka where he pitched well at the end of 2013.

The question is: Will the Mets keep Mejia as a starting pitcher or make him a reliever to possibly help the big-league bullpen sooner than later?

Team insiders have said they will huddle late in spring training to decide Mejia’s fate, because they no longer want to keep shifting his role (ESPN NY, Mar. 18). I still believe they’ll choose to make him a starting pitcher, mostly because he’s done it well and starting pitchers are clearly viewed as more valuable considering how much more money they make than relievers. The only justifiable argument for making him a reliever would be that the team believes his arm and health are better suited for the bullpen, given the amount of innings and preparation to pitch. Otherwise, if he can start, he should start.




74 comments
paulio
paulio

Figures. There was no amount of good pitching Mejia could have done to make the team. Same Mets, different year.

ken1010
ken1010

Mejia only pitched about 50 innings last year.  He probably can't go more than 150 this year without fear of more arm trouble.  One reason to start him in the minors would be to let him take it easy in April and May, and be fully ready to pitch every fifth day from June to September. 

eavdr10
eavdr10

I can't remember reading so much about options , super 2,blah blah blah. Just put the best team on the field for crying out loud. I'm sending my ticket purchasing to the minors too until you prove you can put a qualify product on the field.

mystere24
mystere24

Who says Wally Backman is not a major league manager? He's got all our best players.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

Spring training is a predictor of little.  A consistent level of improvement over time while staying healthy is the best you can hope to get from it.  Playing against lineups sprinkled with AA and AAA players can make a player seem better than he is.  This was a bad team with huge question marks in January.  It still is now.  Much will be revealed in the next two months.  We'll see....

Steven Glansberg
Steven Glansberg

It's 9 am on a monday and I'm already pissed off.. Thanks for starting off the weekend on a good note Terry and crew... LGM!

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

By the way...Matsuzake signed a minor league deal with the Mets 3 weeks before P's and C's reported.  That means that armed with all the film on him that they could choke down, GM's on other teams didn't see him as an upgrade over whatever they had.  I would think in order to change that perception, Dice-k would have to pitch well until...June to be worth a trade at the deadline for something of substance.  enhhhh.....

Wayno
Wayno

Everyone keeps saying mejia.....thor or montero should be on this team!!! This super 2 money bull is embarrasing for a NY team. 90 wins here we come!!

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

They have to keep Dice K.  Mejia shows promise, but must demonstrate he can pitch for two contiguous months without his arm falling off.  

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

Tell Dice K to hit the bricks. Mejia sb the 5th starter. Go with the yutes. Montero and Thor are at AAA when needed.

drmetfan
drmetfan

If Dice-K goes out there today a pitches a fairly good game he will get the 5th spot on the rotation. He would have to get bombed today not to make the opening day roster as the 5th starter.

Mejia deserves the call but like Cerrone said, Dice-k can be a good trade piece later in the season if he pitches well. 

whizz17
whizz17

The Mets should start Mejia, no team is going to trade for Dice K!! Even if Dice K starts the year strong every team in BB knows who Dice K is and is not going to trade anything for him. If Mejia starts and is not good or gets hurt then bring up Montero or Syndergard to replace him. Stop messing around with the retreads and build up the young guys.

mystere24
mystere24

Flores and Mejia both won major league jobs in spring training so I will not be going to any Mets games until both are in the starting lineup together at CitiField.

Wayno
Wayno

Well i would rather watch the triple a team than the mlb team this year. But of course this great franchise in their infinite wisdom has put that team on other side of country. Please wilpons go away!!!

scrubsdoc
scrubsdoc

Ike Davis pulls himself out of yesterday's game in the 4th inning with 'fatigue'.  I don't have a snappy comeback for that one. My mind is blown. He's in, perhaps, the competition of his baseball life for the starting 1st base job and he begs off?  This Valley Fever must be a sumbitch.

helloboy
helloboy

Does any team in the league have fans that despise their favorite team as much as the Mets?  The answer is clearly, no.  The reason is our team does unpopular things and are totally unapologetic about it.   


The idea that you want the fans to come to games before you spend money does not work when you put people on the field the fans do not wish to see, while you put others they do in the minors.  I do not mean Super 2's like Thor.  I mean Flores and Mejia types.  Nobody wants to see Tejada. Making a circus for the sake of a circus makes no sense. 


Is anybody out there listening?  I really do not understand.  



Father Dooley
Father Dooley

In all fairness, Matsuzaka did pitch well at the end of 2013. That alone may have earned him the 5th spot in the rotation.

hankypanky
hankypanky

It's early in the season and Matsuzaka has trade value. Mejia almost had to leave early in his last outing because he injured his foot. He limped off the mound. Put it together, for Pete's sake. It isn't rocket science.

Matt
Matt

What is sandy thinking? I thought his job was to field the best guys come opening day? He is a pathetic GM and I'm tired of him..

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

leave i rather have Mejia if he is healthy go with him. Dice K will find anothr place .

Wayno
Wayno

What a pathetic organization!!! Wish i never bought opening day tix. Well at least ill get to boo Tejada and watch mets get 2 hit. Great offseason sandy, 90 wins huh??

qualcomm
qualcomm

Flores was sent down!!!  90 wins baby!!!!

xplr
xplr

If the Mets are going to make these decisions based solely on money, why do they even have Spring Training competition????

Wayno
Wayno

Please explain what team in mlb will trade for a mid 30s washed up pitcher even if he starts off good??? They will all look at his track record and pass. This is just a waste of fans time and to defend it means your either clueless or a yankee fan

nncyel
nncyel

@Victor Triguero Again, did you even read the article? The strategy is to have the option to trade Matsuzaka at some point and then bring up Mejia. Fans often lose the big picture in order to win an argument. Decisions aren't made in a vacuum. This isn't a decision as to who's better Dice-K or Mejia. This is a decision about the team as a whole. Managing not just a simple decision about the pitching rotation but an entire organization.

Matt
Matt

Exactly, the decision making within this organization is unreal. We can only hope guys that head north will be short leases

Wayno
Wayno

His job is to make wilpons most possible money. The only thing this team cares about, winning is a farce. Wait till they trade murphy, colon, parnell this trade deadline too. 90 wins!!

Adam Porte
Adam Porte

He did. Had a pretty poor start with the Mets and worked SO slowly, but he certainly got much better.

Adam Porte
Adam Porte

@Wayno How does booing Tejada help anything? His last couple of outings have been encouraging and he has the potential to be a decent everyday SS. Yes the team could do with an upgrade, but there wasn't much out there at a price that could be justified. Opening Day will be a great occasion, and I'll be sat on my sofa here in London wishing I could be there!

nncyel
nncyel

@ifti99 Did you actually read the article. Money may be one component but the other component is the ability to trade Matsuzaka. So they pitch him for a while, trade him, bring up Mejia to be the 5th starter. You have an additional prospect instead of losing Matsuzaka for nothing.

cleonsvan
cleonsvan

@nncyel @Victor Triguero The Mets brass are the ones that live in a vacuum. Nobody will trade for Dice-K. Did the Mets trade for him, or was he out of job for months with no takers? The OP is on target.

nncyel
nncyel

@cleonsvan @hankypankyThen you don't follow MLB very closely. Just one example. On June 1, 2010, Dontrelle Willis was traded to the Diamondbacks for starting pitcher Billy Buckner.  In his career with the Tigers, Willis played in 24 games (22 starts). His record was 2–8 and had an earned run average of 6.86 in 101 innings pitched. Granted Billy Buckner wasn't much better. But Dice-K is better than Willis. If Dice-K pitches well of course he has trade value. No one's claiming the Angels are going to trade Mike Trout for him. But how about a lefty relief specialist? Those are always had to find. A player like that.

Wayno
Wayno

How do people still defend tejada??? Flores hadnt played there in 3 years and outplayed him this spring!!! Smfh!!!

Adam Porte
Adam Porte

@nncyel @ifti99Yeah, you can see the business sense behind sending Mejia down...but the issue that will rile fans is when does the team stop making smart business decisions for success in the future and start putting together a winning team.

fourwedges
fourwedges

@nncyel  .. hey dont bang your head against the wall.  80% of the posters here can't think that far ahead, its just not in them.  you made total sense.

nncyel
nncyel

@cleonsvan @nncyel@Victor TrigueroImaginary scenario. Team competing for division title has a pitcher go down (e.g. Medlin with the Braves). No free agent pitchers out there in the middle of the season. Dice-K is 5-3 with a 3.42 ERA. He has no trade value in that scenario? Of course he does. It comes down to need & performance at the moment. Yes teams thought Dice-K should be thrown on the scrap heap. He's resurrected himself to some extent. He now has value. He didn't before.

Wayno
Wayno

First off nothing is managed carefully by idiot collins!!! Secondaly tejada in his best year is a backup second baseman. You people make it out like two years ago he was an allstar!!! They guy is a career minor leaguer on every team in baseball except the mets!! Wake up

Adam Porte
Adam Porte

@Wayno Tejada had a poor year in 2013, but hit over .280 in 2012 and 2011. He played less than 60 games last year. Like Ike, he deserves a chance to prove he can cut it. As I say, I want to see Flores in the starting lineup but am quite happy for his introduction to be carefully managed by TC.

Wayno
Wayno

So shoving tejada out there everyday at a position he is overmatched at is a better idea??

Adam Porte
Adam Porte

@Wayno Personally, I like Flores a great deal and would like to see him in the team. I think he's an exciting young player that could be a real asset. But he has very limited big league experience and will need to grow into that role. Shoving him out there as an everyday SS in the glare of the NY media is a big ask for a 22 year old rookie. I think he should get game time there, but the team will still have to rely on Tejada. That's the sensible decision.

nncyel
nncyel

@C.K. Dexter Haven @nncyelI think, and I could be wrong, but this is what I think. The Mets are trying to build an organization like the Cardinals that is successful every year, by emphasizing internal player development with supplementation by the occasional free agent. They tried the Yankees model and it didn't work. It's not even working too well for the Yankees right now. Or the Angels who are also employing the Yankees model. One does not build a strong stable franchise over night. It does take years during which the fans need to be patient. If the Mets turn into the Cubs, then rant away. But give them a year or two more and see if they turn into the Cardinals.

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

@nncyel  While I understand your point, I gotta tell you, I resent the hell out of my fandom being reduced to nothing more than Yankee penis envy.  My feelings have nothing to do with them.  If the Mets draft poorly or if draft picks/FA's don't work out due to talent or injury or age (Alomar) then so be it.  But that's not what's happening.  They're making most decisions based on what's financially viable exclusively (IMO).  THAT i have an issue with.  Because in every ad on SNY their not selling us on the financial prosperity of the team.  They're asking us to invest ourselves (and our dollars) based on how we feel about our favorite team.  I don't need the Mets to win every year...but i do need them to be COMPETITIVE every year.  And frankly, I don't think that's too much to ask.  3 4th places and a 3rd place with a high water mark of 79 wins doesn't really accomplish that.

nncyel
nncyel

@C.K. Dexter Haven @nncyelUnfortunately the Mets have the Yankees next door to be compared with. But losing is what most teams do. There's only one champion every year and a handful of teams that make the playoffs. 

I'm not sure why New Yorkers seem to think it's their god-given right for their teams to be winners. History shows that it's been exactly the opposite. How many titles have the Rangers, Knicks, Jets, Mets, Giants won? Giants have been successful recently. They've become a well run organization. Guess what, they were horrible for a lot of years when I was growing up in the late 60s and through the 70s and early 80s. And owned by one family all this time. It's not easy to win. The Maras/Tischs are now thought of as ideal owners, but in the time period I alluded to they were not thought of very highly. Perhaps the Wilpons will emerge from this dark period and become what the Maras/Tischs are now. Or not. It's still entertainment and that's what this is all about.

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

@nncyel  I agree with you it is very cynical.  It's what this ownership group has made me.  Because the truth is an empty park doesn't really hurt them.  It helps me not spend $400 a pop to take my family of 4 to a game 3 times a year, but overall?  Sterling makes their money from SNY  And any shortfalls from gate receipts are offset by the 4 letter network or Fox buying some of their games.  My issue is what once was a simple financial reworking in order to recover from the Madoff/Minaya messes, seems to now be SOP going forward and while i've only been following this team for 35 years, I think we've been pretty patient.

nncyel
nncyel

@C.K. Dexter Haven @Adam PorteWell, that's the cynical perspective. I think they made a decision that since they needed to slash payroll they would bring in someone who could rebuild the farm system, build a team and establish the basis for long-term winning ala the Braves and Cardinals. Then perhaps, when the finances were in order begin spending again here and there like the Cardinals did with Peralta. 

Of course it's a gamble because in the meantime your park is empty and you're not making money. 

But that's just me - I watch the Mets because I've doing it for almost 50 years, through thinck and thin ( and believe me there's been a lot of thin - the early 80's was pretty bad) and it's a diversion from everyday problems. I don't live and die with the Mets winning and losing. There are more important things in life than that.

Adam Porte
Adam Porte

@nncyel @Adam Porte@ifti99I think the Mets can be a winning team this year. I don't see us making the post-season unless the stars align and Ike finds another 30 homer season, Murph hits above .280 and whoever ends up leading off gets on base 4 times out of 10. It is possible, but I think it's a bit of a stretch.

I'm generally feeling pretty positive about this season, I think they've made some smart pickups and there is reason to be encouraged. I still feel like 2014 is a year too soon for 90 wins.

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

@Adam Porte  You know this whole 17 act play Sandy and the Wilpons are putting on entitled "From the Brink: Recovering from the Minaya Years" is nothing more than Sandy (and Jeff) proving their hubris, right?.  We fans know NOTHING and they know all.  Which is why we fans will just have to be patient.  (Hmmm...i wonder if they realize since their attendance is in the bottom 3rd of the league that we fans' patience is wearing VERY thin?)

nncyel
nncyel

@Adam Porte @nncyel@ifti99I think they've made decisions to win now. They revamped the outfield with two solid Major Leaguers. SS and 1B are still question marks, but I think they are trying to win now. I think they can compete with the Braves & Nationals. You don't? 

That was the context of the 90-win remark. It wasn't a prognostication for the fans. It was an internal "memo" that we want the organization to have the mindset that we can win and compete with the Braves and Nationals. And most importantly to transmit that mindset to the players.


And Dice-K has pitched well - not like they're favoring Lannan over Mejia. And not like Mejia gives them that much better a chance to win. Dice-K pitched well at the end of the season last year. Mejia is still a bit of an unknown. He looked great yesterday. That was one game.