After Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters that veteran fifth starter candidates Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan are leading the fifth starter race – despite the fact that Jenrry Mejia has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game. Said Collins:
Feb 18, 2014; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the outfield during spring training at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
"“It’s obvious that when you’re Daisuke Matsuzaka, you come with a track record. He’a a quality guy, and he knows how to get himself ready. And once in a while if he has a rough outing in spring training, you have to turn your head a little bit…and certainly, with what he’s done in the past, you might have to say he and [John] Lannan would probably be the two leading guys right now.”"
Matsuzaka, who was decent for the Mets late last season after struggling in his first few starts, is in camp on a minor league deal. He gave up a run on two hits in two innings pitched today. Lannan, who is also on a minor league deal, tossed two scoreless innings yesterday.
Jenrry Mejia, the 24 year old former top prospect who has the chance to be a front of the rotation starter, hasn’t yet appeared in a Grapefruit League game. However, Terry Collins (who won’t make the ultimate decision anyway) is stating that he’s behind two veterans who are rotation filler at this point in their careers.
If Jenrry Mejia is healthy and his pitches are sharp, sending him to the minors in order to carry Daisuke Matsuzaka or John Lannan as the fifth starter would be willful ignorance on the part of the Mets.
The fact that Terry Collins cites “track record” and being a “veteran” as a potential deciding factor is cringe-worthy. That he made these statements before Mejia even had a chance to take the mound is laughable.
That’s without getting into the fact that the whole notion of there being a “competition” for the fifth starter job is absurd.
Hopefully Sandy Alderson steps in and overrules Collins here. Someone has to save him from himself since he apparently won’t be able to make the proper decision here.