Mejia Could Be What The Mets Need In The Bullpen
Let’s face it, D.J. Carrasco was gone before Todd Frazier’s home run landed. Carrasco was designated for assignment after Wednesday night’s bullpen meltdown, the perpetrators being Jon Rauch and Carrasco. The victim, not surprisingly, was Johan Santana.
Sandy Alderson met with reporters on Thursday and discussed the state of the bullpen.
“The bullpen has been a frustration, there’s no question about that,” said Alderson. “We made an attempt to fix it (in the offseason), and at this point, it hasn’t worked out as well as we would have liked.”
Mets relievers are 1-3 with an 8.69 ERA in the past seven games, having given up 19 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings.
The nine blown saves are tied for the most in the major leagues.
“At some point you have to start making changes, and last night was a step in that direction,” Alderson said. “It’s not that we have outstanding candidates in the minor league system at this point. We’ve got some good candidates, but like a number of our other prospects, (they’re) perhaps not ready to pitch as this level.”
Taking Carrasco’s spot on the roster will be left-hander Robert Carson from Double-A Binghamton. Carson was 0-1 with a 1.84 ERA and one save in 12 appearances for the B-Mets this season.
Alderson was also asked about the progress of Jenrry Mejia, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May. Mejia was just promoted to Binghamton and is scheduled to start for them on Saturday, but Collins acknowledged that he could be a bullpen option for the Mets down the road.
With Chris Young expected back into the rotation by early June, that leaves the Mets with the dilemma about what to do with Jenrry Mejia. He has the stuff to be a lights out closer, that is when his command is on. What he doesn’t have yet is mastery of his secondary pitches. The Mets are working with him on that as a starter.
Two years ago, under Jerry Manuel’s watch, the Mets brought him up to work out of the bullpen. He had flashes, both mostly was hammered and demoted, where he was put into the rotation and eventually hurt his arm. Manuel insisted on Mejia because he was worried about his job security. That didn’t work out well for Mejia or Manuel.
Despite pitching as a starter now, the organization doesn’t know what Mejia’s future role will be. If Bobby Parnell made it as a closer, this decision would have already been made.
But, he didn’t and the bullpen remains a mess. That they signed Frank Francisco to two years means they don’t have faith in Parnell as closer and lingering doubts about Mejia’s durability.
It is easier to make the transition from starter to reliever than the reverse. The Mets have had plenty of time to decide. One or the other.
About the Author: John Delcos
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that.
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