Jenrry Mejia needs to be a factor this season for the Mets to contend. Yes, the Mets need to look outside of the organization for bullpen help, but one arm isn’t going to change the outlook for this year.
Five members of the bullpen seem to be in safe ground for the Mets: Francisco, Parnell, Byrdak, Ramirez and Rauch. As much as fans are calling for Rauch’s head, he’s getting paid a lot of money and he really isn’t as bad as people make him out to be.
Two remaining spots are in the bullpen, which are currently occupied by only Miguel Batista, as the Mets will go to the All-Star break with one less reliever. Collins loves Batista, mostly because of his versatility and experience, but I believe he needs to be cut or sent down and stretched out to become a starter. If one of the five guys goes down, Batista is a formidable replacement. He simply hasn’t been as effective coming out of the pen.
So that leaves two available spots in the bullpen. The first is likely to come outside of the organization, with a short wish list of Matt Capps, Francisco Rodriguez, Huston Street, and Brett Myers. Those four are probably the best relievers that will become available in a few weeks. All four provide invaluable experience at the end of games and could either slide in as a setup man or the closer. Don’t discount the idea of bringing Brian Fuentes in either, who was just DFA’d by the Oakland Athletics. He’s struggled since he signed that huge contract, but he’s a lefty, which would limit the overuse of Tim Byrdak. He doesn’t have to come in and be a late inning reliever, as he can be a situational pitcher.
With all that being said, Jenrry Mejia has a future in the big leagues and it’s only a matter of time before he gets there. After TJ surgery, Mejia started rehab as a starting pitcher and was lights out. He climbed through the system, succeeding at every level; however, there is no need for a starting pitcher, so he was shifted to the bullpen. For some reason, he just stunk after that. Since the move to the bullpen, he has thrown 9 innings with a 10.00 ERA with 5 BB and 5 K. Mejia has been throwing behind in the count a lot, which has forced him to make tough pitches which opponents are mashing. He needs to straighten things out, because his stuff is still dynamic enough to be a major force in the big leagues. He would be a very logical replacement in the bullpen because of his success there a few years back under Jerry Manuel.
I could see the Mets going out and getting a reliever to bolster the ‘pen and bringing up Mejia in the near future if he gets a little more consistent. That would provide the Mets enough support and firepower to compete in the NL East. Getting Fuentes and Mejia could be enough, but look for the Mets to be in the running for Capps, K-Rod, Street and Myers.