Jenrry Mejia is being judged on a start-to-start basis and another middle-inning meltdown could intensify talk of moving him to the bullpen, a team insider told reporter Adam Rubin (ESPN, May 6).
Terry Collins also hinted this past weekend that Mejia could still end up pitching in relief.
“When you have starts where they are five innings, 4 2/3, five innings, it’s always in the conversation,” Collins said.
Update – 4:20 p.m.: If Mejia struggles again, Dasiuke Matsuzaka could join the rotation (Martino, May 7).
In 17 starts, Mejia has only twice made it to the seventh inning, despite averaging over 100 pitches per start.
This season, opposing hitters have a .222 OBP against Mejia. The second time through, it’s .352; it jumps to .526 the third time they see him.
“Everything is on the table,” Assistant GM John Ricco said (Wall Street Journal, May 7). “We have a lot of good young arms, it’s our job to manage them.”
According to previous reports, Mejia has said he would rather go to Triple-A and improve on being a starting pitcher than pitch in the big-league bullpen.
However, if he pitches in the bullpen, he’d prefer to be the team’s closer (Wall Street Journal, May 7).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Ugh, I see a story swirling here, and focusing itself, and I have a hunch I know how it ends. If I had to bet, I’d say Mejia gets another start or two, but before long we’ll see him in the bullpen and either Matsuzaka, Noah Syndergaard or Rafael Montero in the rotation. This is compounded by Matsuzaka’s recent struggles and getting closer and closer to summer, when Syndergaard and Montero are almost certainly going to be promoted.
In terms of this year’s team, right now, and not considering player development, having Mejia’s power and creativity and Jacob deGrom’s 95 mph fastball in the bullpen, and Syndergaard in the rotation, the Mets will be a better team than they are today.