During a brief stint in the starting rotation last year, Jenrry Mejia dazzled the club and fans with both his repertoire and mound presence. In the process, he reminded everyone why he’s always been such a highly touted prospect.
Bone chips in his elbow that he had been dealing with all season eventually cut Mejia’s 2013 campaign short, but he’s already in camp in Port St. Lucie – and he’s determined to be the Met who is named the club’s fifth starter in about six weeks.
Scouts (Keith Law among them) view Mejia as someone who has top of the rotation stuff. If he’s healthy, he should be the fifth starter. The whole notion of a “competition” seems absurd, but that’s what Mejia faces this spring.
Mejia recently spoke with Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, and had the following to say regarding whether he wants to start or relieve:
"You ask me that every year, and I always tell you starter. I like starter. Always."
Rubin noted that Mejia was chuckling while he gave that answer, but it’s clear that Mejia has one thing in mind: grabbing this job by the horns.
"The only thing I know is that’s going to be a competition — because I’m here, my arm feels good. I’ll be ready to be there. Whatever they want me to do, that’s what I have to do. But I want to be in the fifth spot. They’ve got to let me know."
As is noted above, if Mejia is healthy, he has nothing to prove. He’s 24 years old, has an electric arm, and is the starter (of all those in the “competition”) who would give the Mets the best chance to win every fifth day.
It’s been reported that the Mets will indeed give the job to Mejia if he is healthy this spring. If so, the club would be adding another starter with incredible stuff to their rotation – a fifth starter who’s good enough to be at the top of a rotation.