Usually I’m not the type to tell someone “I told you so”. It’s annoying at best and at its worst it can make you want to slug the person who says it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when facts are so evident that they hit you in the face leaving you feeling like Delino DeShields Jr. after a close encounter with a 90 mph fastball. When it comes to the future of Jenrry Mejia, unfortunately all I can say is – I told you so.
You see it was about 4 years ago right here on Metsmerized when I wrote an article about what – get this – Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel should do about Jenrry Mejia. Should he be groomed as the heir apparent to Frankie Rodriguez or “stretched” out and turned into a starting pitcher? Of course as it is with many young players who make their way through this organization, their climb up the rungs is far from dull and uneventful. For Mejia it was a birth by fire.
Get ready, I’m about to quote myself because that’s how I roll.
“Earlier this year Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel fawned over minor league phenom pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. Somehow through that love affair, the kid surprisingly made the major league team right out of Spring. It was a desperate move then and looking back, it remains the same.
Especially considering one, the kid had barely over 200 innings of work in the minors and two, unbeknownst to him, he was anointed by Jerry Manuel and few other prominent figures around the team, a future Mariano Rivera armed with a Godly cutter and all.
No pressure there Jenrry. Here’s the ball, have fun. Nobody ever accused the Mets of being masters of public relations but this situation took the cake for me. Instead of dealing with the reality of not having a bonafide set-up man, Minaya and Manuel decided to thrust Jenrry Mejia into the spotlight.”
So instead of sending Mejia to AAA to pitch and either succeed or fail all on his own, they set the kid up. In the minors we would’ve learned probably what we know now, that Mejia is lights out for about 3 innings – roughly one time through a lineup as the .160 average against him is right now. But of course in the minds of Minaya and Manuel it was all about winning and winning NOW.
When I look back it disgusts me how this organization handled Mejia. This was supposed to be their crown jewel and they treated him like a cheap Lucas Duda knock-off watch right off of Canal Street. But before we sharpen our knives on Omar and Jerry let’s not forget that while Mejia has had to deal with injuries and multiple surgeries, he’s still a pretty damn good pitcher but the writing is on the wall. Collins and Alderson need to put Mejia in the bullpen despite his desire to start. The more they wait, the more Mejia is going to believe he should be a starter.
I want to bat third in the Mets lineup but it’s not going to happen either, get over it Jenrry. Alderson and his acolytes in Sabermetrics tend to believe that relievers are simply failed starters. Don’t get me wrong, many are but every once in a while you get a diamond that can only go an inning or two.
Alderson found one in Dennis Eckersley and the other just retired last season as the greatest reliever ever. This team needs to right the wrongs that they’ve placed on Jenrry Mejia and prepare him for his proper role as closer for the New York Mets. Hey it’s not like I didn’t say I told you so.