Mejia, has intentionally dialed back on his fastball velocity to avoid the discomfort in his elbow which is being caused by floating debris – a common occurrence for a pitcher who is a year removed from surgery.
“You have to lower the velocity so you feel better during the course of the game,” Mejia said.
“You can’t throw hard. You need to throw intelligently so the arm doesn’t start bothering you because everyone knows what I have. It’s better to throw intelligently, throw strikes and get outs.”
Matt Harvey has also dialed down his velocity a bit in his last start. It was in an effort to go deeper into games without tiring and it resulted in his first career complete game – a four hit shutout.
Mejia, 23, seems to know exactly what he’s doing, and understands that in the end it’s not about velocity, it’s about commanding the strike zone effectively, something he has become quite adept at during his rehab in Binghamton and his first two starts with the Mets. He too is altering his style like Harvey, in an effort to last longer in games and pitch longer into the season while keeping any elbow pain away.
Mejia has tiny bone fragments in his right elbow which he will have removed this offseason during a minor surgical procedure. He will then begin a soft tossing program at Port St. Lucie before the start of Spring Training and will be ready to begin his first full season in the majors.
It’s been a remarkable comeback for Mejia, who has dealt with a strained forearm and also underwent Tommy John Surgery in May of 2011.
Mejia will make his next start on Monday, when the Mets open up a three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.