Before Sandy Alderson rolled into town and traded Carlos Beltran a couple of weeks after drafting Brandon Nimmo with his first selection in the 2011 draft, the top prospect for the Mets was Jenrry Mejia. However, by July of that season, he was merely an afterthought as he was beset by injuries that included Tommy John Surgery. His status as a Mets prospect had shrunk to nothingness.
The more and more people I talk to about Tommy John Surgery, the more of them tell me that if you’re young enough you usually come back better than before. Could this be the case with Mejia?
In one fell swoop, Mejia has placed himself back to the top of young Mets royalty with a performance that had to be seen to be really appreciated. Here was Mejia, now 23, making putty out of the Washington Nationals. Here was this long-forgotten prospect firing cut fastballs, sliders and changeups that were buckling knees all day long.
I’m not talking about garden variety stuff – we are talking three plus offerings. And the best part? His impeccable control and mastery of the strike zone. Wow, what a performance.
Making his season debut, Mejia delivered a scintillating start that had Terry Collins backpedaling on his pre-game statement that Mejia was slated for the bullpen after this start. Hey Terry, open mouth – insert foot.
Mejia dominated over seven scoreless frames, befuddling the Nationals with a 95 mile-per-hour fastball, a knee-bending slider, and a lethal changeup.
“I think today he showed you he should be in the mix,” Collins said afterward. Gee Terry, that’s rich…
So now the plan is for the Mets to include Mejia on the team as part of a six-man pitching staff. This will allow the team to continue using Mejia while cutting down the workload on Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. By the way, Zack, I hope you were paying attention when Mejia was on the mound…
Harvey sure was…
“I don’t think he allowed a walk the whole time”, an excited Harvey said after the game. “That was so huge for him to go seven innings and do what he did. It was fun to watch. He’s got nasty stuff, that’s for sure.”
Nasty is right…
“Everybody says it’s a cutter, but I say it’s my fastball, my normal fastball” Mejia said to reporters with a big smile. “I never throw a cutter. But they say it’s a cutter so I guess it’s a cutter.”
Mejia says he feels 100% healthy, but there’s some suggestion he may have a bone spur removed from his elbow in the offseason. Are you kidding me? He did this while pitching with a bone spur in his elbow? Oh my… Matt Harvey, meet your new No. 2 for the 2014 season.
Mejia made light of his outstanding command saying that his command has never been an issue with him. He only had a three ball count twice during his stint. Can I get a Hell-Yeah? He had a 2-0 count only twice yesterday. Can I get another Hell-Yeah? He threw 66 of his 97 pitches for strikes. Damn, that’s outrageous.
You see… They can make a good decision when they try… Maybe they’re turning a corner….