Tuesday afternoon, after the Mets announced they had paid Daisuke Matsuzaka a $100,000 retention bonus while delaying their decision on who the fifth starter would be, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson weighed in on the fifth starter “race.”
Mar 23, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia (58) throws against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
After noting that the starts Matsuzaka and Jenrry Mejia will make this weekend in Montreal won’t be “determinative” when it comes to who wins the job, Alderson stated that the club is planning to take the pitcher “who gives us the best chance to win 90 games.”
If Alderson is to be taken at face value, it’s fair to assert that Jenrry Mejia will eventually be named the fifth starter.
The Mets have a number of smart minds in their front office, all who are well aware that Jenrry Mejia – who broke through in a big way in 2013 – has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter.
Meanwhile, Matsuzaka is a pitcher who has been well below replacement level for most of the last four seasons.
Yes, Mejia will be on an innings limit. However, by the time Mejia reaches whatever his limit turns out to be, both Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard should be ready for their major league debuts. Either of them could step in for Mejia when the time comes.
We’ll know for sure in the next few days, but things bode well for Mejia – if the Mets haven’t forgotten how to evaluate talent.