Jenrry Mejia has been very impressive so far this spring. The twenty year old phenom threw 2 and 1/3 perfect innings for the Mets on Friday in their 4-3 loss to the Marlins. Mejia showed dominating stuff while striking out four.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Jerry Manuel said the following when asked about Mejia’s chances of making the opening day roster,
“If we continue to see that, we’ll have to have some strong conversations.”
Although Mejia has so far proved this spring that he can get big league hitters out, the Mets would be making a huge mistake bringing him up north to start the season.
If Mejia was to make the opening day roster, it would most certainly be in a bullpen role. Darryl Strawberry may see Jenrry as the next Mariano Rivera, but I don’t. I see a guy who has the potential to be a front line starting pitcher. The Mets could seriously stunt Mejia’s growth as a starter, if they were to have him pitch 2010 out of the bullpen for the big league club. (The Yankees rolled the dice and lost when they tried that with Joba.)
The Mets have many relievers in camp who could step up to take the set-up role including newly acquired Ryota Igarashi, Kiko Calero, and Kelvim Escobar. So why stunt Mejia’s growth by using him out of the bullpen? Why sacrifice a potential ace who could anchor the Mets’ staff for the next decade for a very good reliever who may never be able to start again? It just doesn’t make sense.
Let Mejia spend all of 2010 as a starting pitcher in the minors. Then in 2011 spring training we can all get excited as Mejia competes for a starting rotation spot. It has been a while since I have gotten this excited about a Mets’ pitching prospect, and I hope the Mets do the right thing so that we can eventually use him to his full potential.