Jenrry Mejia had a disastrous fifth inning in Colorado on Saturday, allowing eight runs in the Mets’ eventual loss. That inning came on the heels of Mejia’s prior start against Miami at Citi Field, where he also fell apart in the fifth inning after cruising for most of the game. Cause for concern? Sure. Cause for Terry Collins to start throwing “Mejia” and “bullpen” around? No.
While Mejia has struggled the third time through the order thus far in 2014, there’s noting to indicate that those struggles are a result of diminished stuff – which would make bullpen talk sensible.
Rather, Mejia’s struggles appear to be a combination of a failure to mix his pitches properly, struggling to maintain his composure, and some bad luck.
Prior to his last two starts, Mejia had tossed 11.2 consecutive scoreless innings.
Aside from the analysis of Mejia’s performance, is the fact that both he and team decision makers view the starting rotation as his only true spot at the moment.
Mejia feels that stints in the bullpen earlier in his career contributed to his eventual Tommy John surgery, and has stated that he would rather start in the minors than relieve in the majors.
Additionally, the Mets stated unequivocally before the season that they view Mejia as a starter.
Mejia, who lost lots of development time due to injury, is younger than Matt Harvey. He deserves a full chance to prove what he can do as a starting pitcher in the major leagues.
If Mejia fails a prolonged audition as a starting pitcher, it will be time to consider alternative roles. However, now is not the time.