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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