I wonder if Mike Pelfrey and John Maine would create as much a stir as young Jenrry Mejia if they too simply decided to throw strikes whenever they got on a mound. I also wonder how long it will be before both of them realize it’s now or never if they intend to hang onto their rotation spots come June or July when the trade deadline nears and Mejia is lighting up the radar gun in Buffalo… or the Mets bullpen.
After mowing down the Red Sox on just six pitches Wednesday, the Mets blogosphere was abuzz with more comparisons to Gooden and Rivera and even Pedro. Craig Carton of WFAN, the biggest clown on live radio, said the Mets would be insane to send Mejia to the minors because as of this moment, he is the best pitcher in Florida hands down. What an idiotic thing to say even for him, but the point is clear, and Mejia has many Met fans in a frenzied exuberance.
Mejia has now pitched 8 1/3 spring innings, almost the equivalent of one game, and somehow he’s become larger than life. I decided to check how many other pitchers were doing as well and over 100 pitchers have performed better. In fact three of them are Mets. While Mejia has allowed one run, Nelson Figueroa has yet to allow any runs in eight innings, Pat Misch in seven innings and Hisanori Takahashi in six innings. No national sports journalists have penned any articles clamoring for either of those three not to be sent to Buffalo, and yet Mejia articles are rampant everywhere.
Jerry Manuel was his usual jovial self after Mejia’s one inning of work.
“Six pitches, five strikes? That’s good for him. It’s very, very encouraging to see a young pitcher that has struggled with command and control come into big league camp and throw the amount of strikes that he’s thrown. That’s impressive.”
Takahashi has struck out nine batters while walking none and has a 0.33 WHIP this spring and hardly a peep out of the Gangsta…
My stance hasn’t changed much since Mejia pitched another spring inning facing the heart of a dangerous, powerhouse Red Sox lineup; Josh Reddick, Tug Hullett and Marco Scutaro who all grounded out. But this tremendous feat didn’t go unnoticed by many of the Mets biggest critics including the always affable Peter Gammons and our own Kevin Kernan of the NY Post who wrote,
“Mejia should be at Citi Field come April 5. If he’s not, the Mets are wasting a golden arm and opportunity.”
Sometimes I get the feeling that all these seasoned and so-called savvy veterans have never experienced a spring training before. All of a sudden they’ve become like a kid in a candy store with eye’s wide open and mouths agape.
Who would have ever thought the day would come that bloggers would be the ones preaching patience and common sense, and that the journalists would become the Twitter happy cornballs.
Can we at least consider the possibilty that Figueroa, Takahashi and Misch might all be deserving of a roster spot, or at least wait two more weeks before declaring a winner, and most of all, can we ultimately select the player who actually pitches the best this spring.