Jenrry Mejia dazzled during a five-start stint late in 2013, outperformed his competition during spring training, and impressed on a cold, rainy night during his first start of 2014. Is there any way he’s still pitching start to start? Adam Rubin of ESPN seems to think so:
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
"Jenrry Mejia makes his second pitch to entrench himself in the rotation when the Mets have a rubber-game matchup with the Atlanta Braves on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. at Turner Field."
Framing Thursday night’s start as Mejia’s “second pitch to entrench himself” seems a bit ridiculous, especially when you consider all the factors at play here.
- Jenrry Mejia is a former top prospect who is younger than Matt Harvey.
- The Mets paid Daisuke Matsuzaka a retention bonus of $100,000 in order to send him to the minors and in turn use Mejia in the majors.
- Mejia has a finite number of innings in his arm this year, meaning that sending him to the minors would be a complete waste.
- After he was named the fifth starter, general manager Sandy Alderson made it clear Mejia was the choice “going forward.”
- It’s been made clear that Mejia is not a bullpen option.
All spring training, Rubin reported that the final spot in the rotation was almost certainly going to go to Daisuke Matsuzaka.
When that didn’t happen, Rubin outlined a number of scenarios that had Mejia making one (or zero) starts in the majors before being replaced by Matsuzaka.
At this point, though, it seems borderline insane to think that Mejia is somehow still auditioning for his spot in the rotation.
Mejia is almost a decade younger than Matsuzaka, has top of the rotation upside, won the competition during spring training, and backed up that win with an impressive first start in very difficult weather conditions.
This is Mejia’s job. To think otherwise defies logic.