MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks

Jenrry Mejia could still pitch in relief

Jenrry Mejia will start Friday against the Phillies, though Terry Collins hinted this past weekend that Mejia could still end up pitching in relief.

Mejia has been quite clear he prefers to be a starting pitcher.

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,” Collins said, about the idea of Mejia one day transitioning back to a relief role.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The easy answer is to think, sure, batters become familiar later in games. But, to me, that’s more a failure on Dan Warthen, Mejia and his catcher, who need to do a better job managing at bats, pitch counts, and maximizing Jenrry’s repertoire. In other words, Mejia needs to ‘command the inning,’ as they say. He’s a monster competitor. He may have more fire to dominate than anyone else in the clubhouse. He’ll figure it out.

It’s important to remember how much time Jenrry has missed due to injury, surgery, transitioning roles, etc. He’s a bit delayed in his development, yet he’s so awesome when he’s clicking. He’s figuring it out at the big-league level, which is always a bit of circus. He’s surrounded by smart people. Bartolo Colon will be a HUGE help. My hunch is that, in a month or so, this will be less of an issue than it is today.




53 comments
chasesimms
chasesimms

I am very confident that the Mets will screw this up.

charlie duck sauce
charlie duck sauce

So after two bad starts in which he pitched fairly deep into those games against talented ballclubs, the consensus now is to place him in the bullpen? Teams could barely have their young arms make it to the fourth inning on a consistent level, and now folks want to disband Mejia from the rotation, into the bullpen because of two blown leads? Incredible.

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

The guy has unraveled like a cheap suit his last two starts--despite some egregious babying by Terry ("He had some tough breaks"). Yeah, that first-pitch grand-slam was a tough break. At this point I would gamble with him as closer. Why not? Who else have you got? The kids should be up in a month or two. This team can be so much better. It's really painful. An average bullpen and we'd be 19-11.

Steven G
Steven G

Can't start the panic, yet. What is troublesome, though, is that (1) this bad start almost completely mimicked Mejia's last start, (2) when he starts to lose control of the game, you can see his emotions take over, at which point he completely loses control of the game, and (3) if we were, indeed, waiting for Dice-K to be ready, that's a real problem. Also troublesome is that all of the Mets' starters seem to fall apart by the 5th inning; don't know if that is the pitching coach or the conditioning people or what, but it shouldn't be. 

Still...when Mejia is on, he's on. Gotta let him pitch and hopefully figure it out.

Doubleday
Doubleday

Dave Righetti didn't want to be a reliever, either ... until he discovered he was one of the best.  Mejia has the stuff to be a Mariano-type reliever.  Either he or deGrom would make outstanding closers.

Brian Descovich
Brian Descovich

When has a Cerrone "hunch" ever played out the way he says it will?   

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

Eckersly was a starter at the end of his career that found more career in the pen. That's the model.


Aaron Heilman was a guy who felt he was on the cusp of his career, but felt he had a pen role forced on him. That's the example to avoid.


Of course it's Warthen, catchers and system screwing up here because it's not just Mejia. Wheeler, Niese, John Maine, Pelfrey are/were all guys who struggled to go deep into game. Gee has put it together the best in recent history but it was GEE that put it together. Remember the criticism that Mel Stotlemeyer screwed up Dwight Gooden's arm. Sadly, there's probably a systemic issue here. 


That said, Mejia's probably not likely to figure it out on his own, because he's a thrower instead of a pitcher at this point. This is why people really need to keep in mind why Montero could be the most important pitching prospect in the system.

heynow20
heynow20

At this point I prefer Mejia over Wheeler.  They are both the same age and while I realize Wheeler's the bigger prospect, can't say I prefer his stuff over Mejia's at this point...

Alen Teplitsky
Alen Teplitsky

for any of you watching yesterday's game, they flashed the splits of all denver teams. they all win 65% of games at home and less than 50% away


thin air makes it hard to breathe and control the ball like you want. Gee had a few days to get used to it which is why he did so good

James
James

He probably has about a month to get this figured out, it could be that an injury will clear a path for Thor/Montero, but it is also quite possible that performance will do so with Mejia.  If he figures it out and starts getting through the 6th/7th with regularity then Mejia still has a strong chance to stay in this rotation, if he doesn't, it isn't he worse thing in the world to end up in the bullpen and I am sure he would prefer that to ending up in Las Vegas instead.

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

He doesnt throw inside to Righties and he needs to throw farther inside to lefties. Yes his pitches move, but good hitters will figure that out in 1 or 2 at bats and if you cant move the ball around the zone, you're going to get stung. Sometimes it isnt always about what the  pitcher wants, its about helping your team win ballgames. Starting pitchers are guys who have the ability to pitch to a lineup 3 or 4 times on a given day. Mejia has not displayed that. He will be given rope, but when Montero and Syndergaard are ready, someone has to move, and its going to be Jenrry.

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

Is it me or does Colon not seem to care one way or another when he pitches-- good or bad? Either way, we are on the hook with him.

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

Mejia should be given some more rope before panic sets in. He pitched well earlier. That said, he may be more suited for BP. Give it time.

Jerry Colfer
Jerry Colfer

Jennry could benefit from watching and emulating Gee's approach. Dillon mixes his pitches up and you can see batters are unsure what is coming next. I am not suggesting he follow this exactly, but work at being efficient. He has good stuff, but throws too many pitches.

Mejia deserves to be left alone and get comfortable.Silly to knee jerk (like the press) starter, relief...slow down.

Anthony Giammattei
Anthony Giammattei

Mejia pitches like he's in pain. Watch, it won't be long before he's on the DL.

mets2014
mets2014

what is that saying?  a starting pitcher gets 30 starts, 10 are going to be good, 10 are going to be bad, it is the remaining 10 that will determine his season.  Let's see how mejia is after 10 starts.  So far after 6 starts, he has 3 good starts and 3 bad starts.  I think the FO may press here...there is an obvious need for a shut down closer and I think mejia would be fabulous as a closer.  he is pretty much untouchable the first 2 times through the order.  I also think he can be a fabulous starter.  I know the FO granted mejia's wish to remain a starter to begin the season, but given the tremendous depth of their starters, they may elect to make mejia the closer...at least to finish out the season.  This is a real tough decision!!!!

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

Can we please stop with Abreu. 

First of all they were plenty of scouts who didn't like him. Real easy to say otherwise now but go back and look it up! "Very risky acquisition, especially considering the money". 

The Mets in their financial situation were NEVER going to take a 6 year risk on a guy who had never played an inning in the ML's and one with plenty of questions about. And to think they would have paid 17M this year for him (including his 10M signing bonus) is just ridiculous. 

The scouts all said wait until the league gets a book on him. Just look at his numbers. His last 5 games have finally come against teams that have seen him before, Detroit and Cleveland. And look at what he has done the second time around. 

4-21 .190 avg. with 9 SO's. SO % 43%. Yes he's run into 2 HR's but this is the question. The scouts said he had holes in his swing. Let the guy go through a full season and then you can talk. Who knows this guy could turn into a complete bust. To rip the Mets at this point is just stupid. Could he be the next Ike Davis? Who knows! But enough already with this guy

Straw18
Straw18

Pitch counts?? He only threw 50 pitches heading into the 5th inning on Saturday. It's all mental with this guy....he does not have the mental make-up to be a starter.....come June 1st put him in the bullpen and bring up Montero or Syndegard...

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

It's crazy how they can go through this grueling 3 year process to find out that Ruben Tejeda is not a baseball player and maybe we need another answer at ss. Yet a top prospect who dominated in his starts last year and this year up until his last 2 is right away in question for his job. 

PanchoVilla
PanchoVilla

Hey Matt, instead of talking about Mejia why don't you talk about Jose Abreu from the White sox?  You know that guy who had unproven MLB talent and we shouldn't take a risk on him.  A lot of posters on here felt the same as well...where are you today?  The guy has 12 homers.  Team is pathetic and ownership group.  Sell the team.

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

For a team that endured 4 years of Mike Pelfrey, you sure know how to make a guy feel special for having two bad starts.

Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

Maybe, just maybe, just possible speaking, they should treat Mejia like they did Wheeler/Harvey and soon Syndergaard when they first come up since he has like a grand total of 60 innings pitched as a starter in the majors. 

drmetfan
drmetfan

Let's not start witht Mejia and the bullpen conversation again. He is not a reliver. He is a starter and has the makeup to be a very good one. But I agree with Cerrone, I blame Warthen and the catchers more than I blame Mejia for his inability to go beyond 5 innings without imploding as he has lately.

William Bonilla
William Bonilla

Terry Collins is very short sighted....this is Mejias first time in a legit role from the start of the year....let the kid grow.....he's doing fine by the way....Colorado is not an easy place to pitch

mets2014
mets2014

@Steven G he better figure it out quick...the young arms are almost here

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

@doubleday  And Beltran played first base for the Yankees the other week, while he had to be coaxed into playing right here, on a bad wheel. Yankees have a knack for getting guys to go out of role in ways they normally would not. Drew wants to play second base for them. Beltran was originally gonna go there first time around for less money.


A young starter likes the stability of starting instead of being at the manager's whim everyday when relief is needed. The modern pitchers want the big starter money chance first, and figure they can always convert to the pen later. The game has changed since even the 80's.

sylow59
sylow59

That's the basic problem with extreme parks. Teams build for the home Park and ignore the road. The cubs, red sox, and Rangers did it a lot. You need to build a well rounded team. If you're good you can compete anywhere. And that's what is key.

collegept9
collegept9

@Dana Smith  I agree on the need to pitch inside. He also doesn't seem to have an out pitch. Guys just keep barely fouling off his fastball until they hit it. Especially lefties, who cream him. 


He needs to throw his fastball higher for strikeouts, like Harvey, and add a changeup to get lefties out. 

Michael Frias
Michael Frias

@Bob Burket It's one of those things that when he throws well and shows no emotion he's "pitching with poise" but when he gets knocked around he "doesn't care".


It's a damned if you don't, damned if you do.  Because if it was the opposite, people would label him a "showboater".

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

@Bob Burket Well getting upset with it isnt going to make you throw better pitches, thats for sure.

nolrog
nolrog

@Bob Burket Why would he care?  He's 40 years old and will be paid 20 millino dollars the next 2  years, whether he pitches or throws sunflower seeds at Daniel Muprhy in the dugout.  I wouldn't care either.

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

@mets2014 Out of 30, 10 you will have your best stuff and control, 10 starts you will have one or the other, 10 starts you wont have either, and its the 10 starts where you just dont have it that you have to find a way to get it done out there.
However this isnt about full starts, this is about the 3rd time through the order. Just about all of his starts he has come out dominant and even if the results have shown in all of his games, the opposition starts hitting the ball very hard off of him by their 3rd ABs. He needs to learn how to manage a game as well as pitch.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

@mets2014  Only basement dwellers will allow a pitcher 10 bad starts.  It's not about wins or loses, it's about quality starts.  Another couple of starts where he gives up 8 run on 19 pitches, as he did on Saturday, and he's in the bullpen.  I still can't believe that stat, don't think I've ever seen an implosion like that. 

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

They also had questions about his defense. There was a risk/reward factor here. 6 years for a literal unknown is far too much of a risk for a financially strapped team.


nolrog
nolrog

There were also plenty of scouts that said this guy is going to be good.  More, I think, than ones that said he would not.  And just to remind you, Abreu is currently leading baseball in HRs and is second in RBIs, and plays a position that we have a desperate need at.

The Mets are a big market team.  If the Wilpons cannot take a 70 million dollar risk, then they have no business owning a team in NY. 

Pete Brilvitch
Pete Brilvitch

@Straw18 It's a little quick to say he doesn't have the mental make-up to be a starter. He's obviously been bad the last two, but very good before that going back to last year. Before over reacting, let's see if he can make some adjustments.

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

@Victor Triguero The high BAA includes all of his starts 3rd time through and beyond. Go look up the full progression of his games. Its a little scary.

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

@drmetfan The catchers and Warthen are not throwing pitches down the middle. If thats the case, do Warthen and the catchers get credit for Gee and Niese's great starts? I'd hardly say not. Recker set up inside on right handed batters multiple times the other night and everything he throws cuts over the middle. Eventually, guys are going to hit it.

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

@nolrog True. 20 million will do that to you. I have a hard time relating to these guys getting paid gazillions to throw and hit a ball.

BadContract
BadContract

I have to believe we haven't seen implosions like that is because the pitcher is taken out before it gets that far. After he gave up four and then plunked a guy it was more than evident that stall tactics and a change needed to occur. I hope he can bounce back. He is my favorite pitcher to watch.

mets2014
mets2014

@Macacawitz @mets2014 Denver is a real tough place to pitch...what makes me worry was the start prior in new York...let's hope this was a bump in the road and not a trend

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@nolrog  You are going under the assumption that we are a big market team. We are not! We are hugely limited financially. That's a fact. Given those parameters there was no way they were going to take that risk. To expect otherwise is foolish. 

Obviously I wish they had now. But at the time, there were too many questions mark for a team with their financial constraints. 

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

@nolrog Just because you own a team in New York does not obligate you to spend lots of money. Whether you like it or not, they own the team and they will spend how they want. With that said, still would not have liked the signing. Im telling you right now this guy is not going to hit even close to that for the full season.

Also on that Note, Lucas Duda is on pace for 20+ HR and around 80 RBI and is currently hitting .271 with a .361 OBP. He's been hitting the ball up the middle which are good signs. I think we can all agree that the backend of the bullpen and SS are much bigger issues.