It seems like every day we read about a new plan or a different course of action for the artist formerly known as the Mets No. 1 Prospect – Jenrry Mejia. He’s up, he’s down, he’s in the rotation, he’s not, he’s in the bullpen, he’s not, he’s a reliever, he’s a starter… Oh, and he’s only 22 years old.
In case you haven’t heard the latest, yesterday Terry Collins said that Mejia will REMAIN in the bullpen after telling reporters 24 hours earlier that the bullpen experiment was over and that the young right-hander was going back to the Buffalo Bisons rotation. It’s enough to make a Mets’ fan head spin, but can you imagine how poor Mejia must feel?
I wondered what some of the writers on our staff thought about all this yanking around the Mets have put this still-promissing talent through over the last three seasons spanning two different front offices.
Dan - I have always believed it’s a sin to mess with a top level prospect. I never understood why teams pull their top guy and stick him in the bullpen to fill a need when they’ve never given him a chance to start at the big league level. Relievers in my opinion are failed top prospect starters. I never understood what Boston and Texas were thinking when they moved Papelbon and Feliz to the pen. Of course they were going to be dominant for one inning at a time, they were dominant as starters in the minors. Relievers are guys like Nathan and Wagner who were good for a few innings and then got hit hard the second time around. Mejia IS AND SHOULD BE starting games. We still have not solidified our rotation and he needs to be in the mix. He has never proven he can’t get the job done, so why do we keep messing with him?
XtreemIcon - It seems as though Joba Rules haven’t taught anybody anything. Mejia should be starting until he proves he can’t, not until there’s a hole in the bullpen. I don’t see him as a future starter, but he has enough in his repertoire to let him prove he can’t. Best case, he proves most people wrong. If he lights up the minors, maybe he catches the eye of some team with a legit RF or C. Worst case, he appears he has the ability to be a dominant bullpen arm, which is always a crapshoot in this league via free agency.
Fonzie13 - I don’t see Mejia with his all out max effort being able to hold up as a starter, but what they’re doing to him, yo-yo-ing him like that is ridiculous and an injury risk as well. Let him start until he fails or just leave him in the pen until he succeeds. He had two bad starts at Binghamton and they advanced him to Buffalo. Made no sense.
Robert P. – Jenrry Mejia has got to be one of the most frustrating cases of player development since Generation K. The Mets envision him as a reliever because his motion is so violent (the reason he’s already had TJ surgery), but sometimes you can’t fit a round peg into a square hole. The Mets may have to decide if 3-4 years of a potentially better than average starter is a better option than career of frustration out of the bullpen. One thing is for sure, the Mets have without question retarded the progress of turning this kid into a major league pitcher. I can’t imagine he’s happy with the situation, but what choice does he have really?
Satish - I feel for the kid. I personally never believed he could be a starter, but I thought he could be a very successful setup guy or closer. I guess I never saw the crazy upside in him that everybody else did. I still think he can be a successful reliever in the MLB, but I guess the Mets want to milk him in every possible role in the minors to see exactly what he can do before he gets consistent MLB time.
Joe S. – I was against the idea of bringing Mejia up so soon when Minaya and Manuel played the desperation card a few years ago. That alone I’m sure didn’t do as much to futher his career as many would think. He needs to pitch as many innings as he can physically handle and the only way to do that is as a starter. Yes the team needs bullpen help but once again, they should not put that type of pressure on a rookie especially coming off elbow surgery.
I seriously don’t know what to make of the situation. I’m not going to tell you that Mejia is a starter or a reliever because I simply don’t know. What I do know is that he’s had success as a starter before all this craziness began. He also was having success as a starter for Buffalo this season before he was yanked by his jersey and had his ass kicked into the bullpen by the higher-ups apparently against the wishes of Bisons manager Wally Backman. I’ve never seen any organization handle a 19-year old who was arguably their best pitching prospect in the system, handled with such utter disregard for the kid’s confidence and even the potential for personal career threatening injury. It’s sad to see.