Mejia could be capped at 125 IP this year

Mejia will start tonight for the Mets, when they begin a three-game series with the Phillies at Citi Field.


4:25 pm: Terry Collins said Friday that Mejia could end up being capped at around 120-125 innings this year.

“He’s pitched well until a certain part of game,” Collins said. “We have to get him through it, I hope today he does it.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

10:10 am: There is a good chance Jenrry Mejia ends up in the bullpen before the end of the month, at which time someone from Triple-A could take his spot in the rotation, I’ve been told by team insiders.

According to multiple reports, the organization is evaluating him on a start-by-start basis to determine how he’ll be used the rest of the season.

“They said they want me to be a starter,” Mejia told beat reporter Mike Puma (NY Post, May 9). “I don’t want to be in the bullpen.”



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In the last few days, I’ve been reminded that Mejia, 24, threw just 57 innings last season between his time in the minors and with the Mets. In his seven years as a professional, he has thrown 100 innings in a season just twice, and never more than 108, while missing time with an MCL tear that required Tommy John surgery, a right shoulder strain, elbow inflammation, forearm tendinitis, bone spurs and a blister.

In other words, Mejia would have likely had to deal with some sort of innings limit per game and per start at some point this year, assuming he remains healthy and on the active roster. This talk of being a relief pitcher may simply be the start of transitioning him into a more effective, more limited, more controllable role.

In February 2010, Mejia was the hot pitching prospect. Omar Minaya and company drowned him in praise and talked endlessly about his passion and desire to be great.

“He wants to be a starting pitcher, he believes he will be great, he wants to be Pedro Martinez,” a former front office person once told me. However, he added, “If he’s going to pitch in the bullpen, he’ll expect to be Mariano Rivera, that’s just the kind of kid he is.”

Darryl Strawberry sang Mejia’s praises as well, saying he is the only pitcher he had ever seen that reminded him of Rivera.

“I went to Omar and told him, ‘You’ve got to make this guy a closer,'” Strawberry said in 2010. “I played with Mo, I saw it up close. I know what his cutter looked like and I’m telling you, I haven’t seen a pitch move like his, with that kind of velocity, until I saw this kid Mejia.”


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The opposition is hitting .160 the first time they face Mejia in a game, .239 the second time and .438 the third time through the order.

“When you have starts where they are five innings, 4 2/3, five innings, it’s always in the conversation,” Terry Collins recently said about the idea of Mejia one day transitioning back to a relief role.

It is feeling inevitable, especially given the pending promotions of Rafael Montero, Jake deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

Mejia is most valuable as a starting pitcher, there is no question about it. I think he can do the job. However, if there is no room at the inn, and management feel his skillset and endurance make him a better fit as a closer, so be it.

In an ideal world, Mejia is a dominant, 30-game starting pitcher. However, if moved to the bullpen, the goal will be for him to fool hitters with his slip-and-slide fastball and a shut-down, four-pitch repertoire. Or, he could go the way of Joba Chamberlain. So, choose wisely, Mets.




265 comments
John Pastore
John Pastore

Put him in the bull pen. He has great stuff, but not past the 5th.

Joe Sedo
Joe Sedo

Changing too many lineups is not why they have not had success. You're entitled to your own opinion but I think it's mostly been poor player and coach personnel and poor front office decisions. The reason certain players don't have roles is because they haven't earned them I think Terry is doing a great job and will keep it going in the right direction...

Peter Sabella
Peter Sabella

Comparing him to 2 hall of famers? You guys honestly always have the stupidest article titles. If one of them isn't something completely obvious like "Mets and scouts are impressed by Mets OF prospect Brandon Nimmo," then it'll be dumb just like the one in this link. Why cant you guys just stick to reporting ACTUAL Mets news?

Joe Pinzone
Joe Pinzone

if he cuts his hair leave him as a starter for no more then 5 innings, seriously ever second.. if he wants to stay sloppy i vote closer.

Jay Vasquez
Jay Vasquez

My mets need me as a coach. Bcz crealy we had $ to buy starters and closers...now this?

Patrick Quinn
Patrick Quinn

It's the Mets.Tommy John is in the near future.

Kevin Dailey
Kevin Dailey

He's an Oli Perez with Katt Williams hair.

Justin Ruiz
Justin Ruiz

YES!!! HE'S ONLY GOOD FOR 3 INNINGS!!!

Pam Wissmann
Pam Wissmann

This should be a no brainer for the organization but they're dumb. Reliever! He's DOESN'T have starting pitcher caliber. Besides, I don't like having to look at bozo-the-clown on the field. Ugh!!

Timothy Lambert
Timothy Lambert

He's still young and pitched AA ball last year give him a shot at starting, let him work through his mistakes.

Jason A. Miller
Jason A. Miller

Dude, right now the question is not Martinez v. Rivera. The question is Apodaca v. Falcone.

Mary Keogh
Mary Keogh

They should score for the poor guy once in a while.

Kevin Stone
Kevin Stone

Who! MEJIA? Thats the funniest thing I heard all day

Steve Barris
Steve Barris

He's a crappy 4th starter. I go none of the above.

Jerry Colfer
Jerry Colfer

If Mejia will most likely be capped, why would you move Montero to the pen in Vegas, then move him to the Mets pen, then send him back to Vegas to stretch him out as a starter again so he can come back up later this summer as a starter?

Why not leave him in a starter role and move him up to the 5 spot when Mejia moves to the pen?

It just seems kind of contorted to me.

fourwedges
fourwedges

"according to multiple reports"  .. translation: Matt talking to his friend and his friend talking back to him.