Most important Mets’ September call up: Jeurys Familia or Jenrry Mejia?

While the Mets are not likely playing for any postseason glory this September, that’s not to say that the final month is inconsequential.

It’s that time of year again; when call-ups audition for their future with the club. For the Mets, they have two intriguing prospects in Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia, who have a lot to prove and how they fare in September could go a long way in determining their role with the Mets going forward.

To begin with, Terry Collins and Mets’ management have to decipher what Familia and Mejia are. Are they future rotation arms or will their talents best be utilized in the bullpen going forward?

Both Familia and Mejia have electric stuff and have long been figured to be front-end type pitchers. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about Familia, but scouts love his slider and above-average fastball. Enough so, that many scouts label him a reliable No. 3 or 4 starter for the Mets. And while the sample was incredibly small, I like how the ball jumped out of Familia’s arm in Tuesday’s night’s game when he made his debut and struck out one batter and gave up a hit in his first inning of work.

Mejia on the other hand has been jettisoned between being a rotation guy and a bullpen arm for far too long. Eventually his future, permanent role has to be defined. In 2010, Mejia was prematurely rushed to the big leagues and was out of place in the Mets’ bullpen. After suffering from an elbow injury and undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Mejia maybe best utilized in the ‘pen, as to not overwork his arm.

For a team that has been burned by their meandering, frustrating bullpen, it all but seems inevitable that at least one of Familia and Mejia-if not both- will go to bullpen next year. Before the Mets go outside for help in the bullpen for 2013, it would be great if they can look internally to upgrade the relieving corps.

My bet is on Mejia being inserted into the ‘pen, with Familia getting every chance to become a starter. That’s why I view Familia as the most important September call-up. The Mets need to know what they got in Familia. To some degree, they know what they have in Mejia since he has been up with the big club before, but Familia could be the wild-card this September.

The hope is that Familia can play well in the ‘pen this month and then get an invite to Spring Training next year and ‘compete’ for a rotation spot. The likely scenario is that Familia will once again start in Buffalo next season with a chance to come up late in 2013 if the need for an extra starter is warranted. With R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana, Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee almost guaranteed to be the Mets’ 2013 starting rotation, Familia has some work left to do. Familia has to work on his control before he can be a trusted arm in the rotation.

With Zack Wheeler also expected to get the call in 2013, this could not be a more critical month for Familia and Mejia to prove their worth to the club.

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11 comments for “Most important Mets’ September call up: Jeurys Familia or Jenrry Mejia?

  1. Metsense
    September 6, 2012 at 8:31 am

    The starting five you mention for 2013, if healthy, seem to be the rotation. Right now it appears McHugh would be an early replacement in case of injury or ineffectiveness (or Heffner) and Wheeler the late call up (post June 2013) for the same reasons. Alderson and company don’t like to promote too fast. In an ideal world, explained Paul DePodesta, the club’s vice president for scouting and player development, “we want our young players to force their way on the team.”
    Even though I would prefer to develope starters over relievers, the starting pitching positions are becoming less availalble on the Mets. A good September by Familia or Mejia, coupled with a strong Spring Training may land them on the 2013 opening day roster in the bullpen.

  2. Mack Ade
    September 6, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Okay… Gee and Pelfrey both come off the DL… one is under 500K, the other is around 5mil…

    but what happens is Mejia goes 4-0 1.50 for the remainder of this season, and pitches runless in ST next spring as a starter…

    Gee or Mejia?

    (Familia still has to find the barn)

    • Chris F
      September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Mejia. We are about winning games. If you are SP5, then relegation is always the first thing you see in the rear view mirror. With that kind of line, Mejia is a slam dunk. The truth is that there are shaky components here: Johan will not get 30 starts, nor pitch into September is my guess. Someone else will long 10+starts for sure. Niese is definitely a trade piece, and I think he will have to go to get some serious lumber in Flushing. Given the activity that Texas and the Angels had to boost their rotations, ask what the Yankees or Sox would do for a young, low price, 12ish Win SP. I dont think Jon will be here in April. I agree with Brian the Wheeler and Harvey are untouchable, as RA will be, meaning Gee and Mejia will get plenty of play.

      Come Opening day 2013, I see:
      RA, Santana, Harvey, Gee, Hef (with McHugh, Mejia, Wheeler and Familia taking their opportunities when/if they arrive)

      SP5 will be an interesting carousel, especially once Johan is shut down. My prediction is that Johan will not pitch after July next year.

      • Name
        September 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm

        I think you are being too bold for your predictions. Johan not pitching past July? Once he heals his ankle and rests his back, there is no reason he can’t pitch a whole season next year. Niese being traded? A low-cost long-term young starter is what every team strives for. You don’t trade those pieces away. And what could we possibly get for him? More prospects that may or may not work out?

        Unlike most people here, i really don’t think that the Mets have enough SP depth for next year. Hefner is someone who i don’t think should be constantly jerked around from position to position. We have seen that he isn’t really effective when that is done to him. I wouldn’t have a lick of trust in Familia in a starting role next year. 4.73 ERA at AAA doesn’t exactly scream Major league SP ready. Meija is also a guy that i would have trouble trusting(although more than Familia) mainly because of his lack of a defined future role with the team. So that basically leaves Collin McHugh and Wheeler as somewhat trustable depth. You certainly never want 2 rookies in your rotation if plan to compete for a playoff spot, and most likely Wheeler won’t be available until at least after June. So i really think we need some backup here IF WE WANT TO BE COMPETITIVE NEXT SEASON.

        That being said, i do think 1 of the starters of our project 2013 rotation will not make it out of spring training.

        • Chris F
          September 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

          I dont see 2013 as a “competition” year. Id like to see if 82-85 wins is possible. this ship has not turned around, and will not be in the play-offs next year. Bank on that. Niese is looks like a long term 4 or 5 IMO, and is trade-able under the right circumstances. Until Johan’s and Bay’s contracts are gone, our hope is to play for a winning record. I think Johan’s issues are greater than the ankle. Its my guess he will not come near a full season of starts. In building the rotation of the future, of which Johan will not be part of, it means some young guys will be in there and definitely earning their keep. Id rather this happen now when games matter less than in 2 years when things should be much different. The tenor of the ’13 season, of course, will depend on Sandy’s wheeling and dealing off season with little financial room to move. Consequently, Im not expecting much more from the Mets next year. Niese could be part of the future, but doesnt have to. We are deepest at pitching, and to get anyone good on the team we are gonna have to accept Duda or Murph wont bring it. Id reup Wright and RA, package Niese, Duda, and maybe Murph (?) and see what we can get in terms of an outfielder with offensive power, assuming that the FA market wont be much an option for us.

          • Name
            September 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

            Man you’re really grim on the Mets prospects, and I don’t see why. The Mets starting 5 next year all are capable of putting up average to above-average numbers. The offense this year pre-break was 3rd in the league in runs scored. And that is with guys like Davis,Torres,Bay doing absolutely nothing and guys like Thole and Duda doing very little(although Wright played way over his head). So i see no reason why they can’t be competitive next year if they do something little things to help shore up the bullpen.

            Also, the East division i think is going to be pretty weak next year. Phils and Marlins have cleared house and are in full rebuild mode. The Braves will be losing a cornerstone in Chipper Jones and most likely the Nats will regress next year(too many guys are playing way over their capability). At the VERY LEAST, you should think that we will have a season like the last 2 where we are competitive in the first half, and then tail off the second half. But that’s the worst-case scenerio I envision right now(of course things could change depending on how FA goes).

            Also, i would like to know what people mean when they “assign” someone a future rotation number, because if my “#4 starter” can put up 12-15 wins with a low 3 ERA, i’d be absolutely ecstatic. Or is the number system sort of a like a scale where 1 is really good, 2 is good, 3 is average, 4 is below average, and 5 is replacement level?

            • Chris F
              September 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm

              Im not sure Im thinking grim as much as feeling “beaten”. Right now we do not have a single MLB-ready outfielder for 2013. We dont have a genuine catcher. Its possible some would say Murph is just treading water at 2B (I like him, but in the totality of the rest of 3B and SS, he looks less good). We need more than bull pen help…and the pen with the addition of the new names we have seen may be salvageable without a ton of attention. I simply do not think a team comprised in very large part of this years will play above .500. If Sandy doesnt shake the tree, Im afraid a mediocre season is the most likely outcome. We played above our heads in the first half. We scored with 2-outs at an unsustainable rate, and it showed the second half. We have such a profound lack of power its troubling…will Duda come up with 30 HR, 90 RBI? I dont think so. Realistically this looks like about a .500 team. Im more in the camp that the Nats are the real deal. Strasburg, Gio, Zimmerman all consistently fabulous. Lots of power. Chipper makes the Braves better to be sure, but they are just so consistently good that I cant see them ending 15+ games back next September. The Marlins have no future or hope. The Phils are gonna be better than this year. At least thats how things look to me as of now!!

              • Name
                September 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

                I think i see why you and I have such different views. When evaluating a team, i like to look at more of the overall numbers, such as runs scored (as i keep mentioning that the Mets were 3rd in runs scored pre-break). You, on the other hand, like to look at individual positions and since we don’t have that many high profile names or highly-touted players, our team seems worse than it actually is.
                For example, this year, most of us would agree that our catchers have done an underwhelming job, and the stats back that up: .232/.304/.598. However, the average NL catcher has only posted a .251/.402/.724. While the slugging is VERY bad this year, in terms of hits, our catchers have only got around 15 hits less than an average NL catcher. 15 hits over 5 months is not that significant in my mind.
                Likewise, you keep mentioning that Murphy has not been that good. His line is .289/.401/.731. The average NL 2nd baseman is : .262/.392/.715. That’s more than just “treading water” in my opinion.

                So basically, in terms of hits, the difference between the best at one postion and the average, over an entire season, is around 25 hits. And the difference between the best and the worst at one position is around 50 hits. So the gap between great and bad isn’t as signficant as you might think. Around 4-10 extra hits a month between good and bad

                • Chris F
                  September 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm

                  I am enjoying this discussion. I think it is key to put in a lot of other metrics besides hits though. Dont think I believe big names = production. Clearly thats not the case as Bay and Johan have clearly shown. Can you really say our outfield is playing well? The fielding and run production is not getting it done out there. Every position is a platoon. I like Murph and have said so many times, but hes an “average” MLB 2B, with a WAR of 1.2, regardless of the number of singles he has. In any event, the Mets reality of this year is about average, playing a little under .500. I think thats about what this team is, and certainly what their record says. Unless big changes come (not big names, but big changes), I dont see this team being any better than about .500, and that wont make us play games in October. Runs scored is a finicky thing. I think it would be interesting to see the W-L in 2 run games. Weve had a number of big tallies where we run up 9+ runs, but that only gets 1 win, so the total itself is not the key factor. The lack of power and lack of runs (how many innings without having more than 1 run? how many games without more than 2?) in key situations has plagued the team. To me combined stats give the broadest sense of the picture. If our numbers are so sound, then why are we >15 games back in the 1st week of Sept? Im not rooting against the Mets here. I look at who is in the house and with mostly the same players, i cant see more than middle of the road finish for next year.

                • Name
                  September 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm

                  I guess the max number of replies to a post is 7 because i don’t see a reply button next to your post. My goal for the rest of the season is to try to convince you to be an optimist for 2013.

                  My main point in the last point was to try to show you that difference between good and bad isn’t that much. .300 is good and .200 is bad, right? Over a full season, that’s about 50 hits. 50 hits over 6 months is 8-9 hits extra a month. That’s the most extreme case between the best and worst in the league.

                  As for your “every position is a platoon” problem, i think that is more of a product of our manager, TC. Over the last couple of months, he has been so obsessed with matchups it’s almost borderline crazy.

                  And i don’t see how you can’t like Murphy. In the beginning of the year, it was all about whether Murphy could handle 2nd base. I don’t think i’ve seen many articles written about Murphy’s defense. No, he’s never going to be as spectacular as Brandon Phillips, but It has been acceptable this year. I’m not really a fan of WAR because it tries to combine hitting, fielding, and baserunning into 1 stat, and i’m not sure it does that well.

                  Pre-break, the Mets were 6 games above .500, was 3rd in runs scored, 9th in ERA(probably top 5 in SP ERA and last in bullpen but i can’t find splits for that).
                  Post-break, the Mets are 13 games under .500, are 15TH in runs scored, 11th in ERA.

                  So basically the pitching has been the same(good SP, bad bullpen), but the offense for some reason has tailed off considerably, from one of the best to one of the worst. Not coincidently, the Mets also went from 1st in walks to 10th in walks. So basically the question is, are the 2013 position player Mets closer to pre-break or post-break 2012. I think it will end up being some sort of hybrid of the 2, but probably closer to the pre-break Mets because the Mets just went through a stretch where they couldn’t score a lick(like 10 runs in 7 games).
                  In terms of pitching, Dickey has been great this year and we hope he will continue his dominance. In my mind, Niese still can take a step foward next year. Gee as well. Santana might not provide us with the great 1st half he had, but i’m pretty confident he won’t provide us with the abysmal 2nd half he had. And finally we will have Harvey in that 5th spot instead of a combination of Pelf, Hef, and Batista, and Schwindy. So i do expect improvement here in 2013.
                  And now finally the bullpen. Pretty much the worst bullpen the whole year, i can’t imagine us having a worse pen next year. Edgin will mostly likely be here next year, and he helps. Francisco and Parnell will probably be back, with about the same results. Acosta will most likely be back, and he is one player who for sure can’t be worse than this year. Either way you dice it, i don’t think we’ll have a 5.00 ERA pen next year. It may not be good, but certainly won’t be 5.00 ERA bad.

  3. September 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I agree that the starting five you mentioned are the favorites for the Opening Day rotation but I figure the Mets are going to have to trade some pitching in the offseason. Maybe it’s one of the J&J boys you mentioned in the headline or maybe it’s Niese, who with a team-friendly contract and proven production in the majors might be the team’s most valuable trade chit (given that they are extremely unlikely to deal Harvey or Wheeler).

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