On Tuesday, Terry Collins said that Jeurys Familia, Jose Valverde, and Daisuke Matsuzaka were all options to be the team’s closer.
He declined to say which he would lean on the most, “I’d like to, but I’m not sure we’re going to do it just yet,” he said.
Collins went on to say that he ultimately wants to have one guy emerge as his closer.
Not surprisingly, today Collins suggested that Jenrry Mejia in now in that potential closer group and that if he shows that he can pitch in back-to-back games and handle his new role in the pen, Mejia is most likely to become the regular closer.
Mejia threw 22 pitches Monday night, three days after throwing 101 pitches in his previous start, and he performed very well.
For now however, it is still a committee.
In my opinion, Mejia is the one.
Jenrry Mejia wasn’t given any time to sit around and stew over the team’s decision to send him to the bullpen.
“I know I am a starter and they know I like to start,” Mejia said after receiving word that he had been bounced from the rotation. “But I always want to help my teammates. … I’ll go out there and be a reliever.”
And with a shrug of the shoulders and a huff and a puff, the hard-throwing righty headed to the bullpen in Yankee Stadium wondering if the phone would ring that night.
“Get Mejia up.”
The 24-year old Mejia looked better than ever, silencing the Yankee threat after he entered the game with runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh inning, and needing one big out. Mission accomplished.
Mejia would get three more outs in the eighth inning, which ended with a dramatic strikeout of Brett Gardner who had hit a grand slam earlier in the game. Then the cameras caught Mejia celebrating the moment with the following dance.
“That feels pretty good,” Mejia said afterward. “I got to enjoy it. If they need me in the bullpen I got to be there because I never play for myself. I want to be a teammate. If they need me in the bullpen to win games, I got to be there. I got to do my job from there.”
Mejia will only get better, but so far, so good.
Thanks to SB nation for the GIF.