With the fifth starter race still undetermined, a bunion on Jenrry Mejia‘s foot may impact his chances of emerging as the choice.
Mar 5, 2014; Melbourne, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia (58) throws against the Washington Nationals in spring training action at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Mejia is set to make his final start of the spring Friday against the Blue Jays in Montreal, but manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen are both worried about the bunion Mejia has on his right big toe.
The bunion forced Mejia to leave his last start early, and Warthen said that it was bothering him a bit during his recent bullpen session.
Mejia said that he feels good, and that he’s excited to get on the mound Friday.
The Mets made the decision to pay Daisuke Matsuzaka a $100,000 retention bonus – while delaying the fifth starter decision – after Mejia’s last start…the one he left early due to the bunion.
If the Mets were especially worried about the bunion, one would imagine they would’ve simply chosen to keep their $100,000 while naming Matsuzaka the fifth starter. They didn’t, and Mejia is set to start Friday.
If Mejia gets through his start Friday without incident and pitches effectively, the bunion will likely turn out to be a non-issue.
If it hampers him, Matsuzaka would likely get the fifth starter job by default.