The Mets obviously have a lot of problems—pick your favorite.

You can pick from the struggles of Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, the whole mess of an outfield, the bullpen, etc.

And of course, you can look at the rotation (sans Matt Harvey) for a lion’s share of the blame. I don’t need to rehash the struggles of the back-end of the staff.

That being said, the Mets are always looking at ways to improve the staff and one name that could possibly help is Jenrry Mejia.  Remember him? While we all clamor for Zack Wheeler, Mejia has become a forgotten man by many. It wasn’t too long ago that Mejia was being touted as a difference maker.

Mejia is rehabbing in Port St. Lucie at the moment. In his first start in St. Lucie last Thursday, Mejia definitely showed signs of rust and only completed two innings while allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. The good news is that Mejia did strike out six batters.

The Mets are once again trying to stretch Mejia out as a starter. Between being part of the rotation and the bullpen, Mejia has only amassed 55 innings pitched in his MLB career, while sporting a mediocre 4.91 ERA and unsightly 1.73 WHIP.

Mejia has been jettisoned between being a starter and being part of the bullpen for most of his Met’s career. Ever since he made his debut in 2010 in the bullpen-which was a huge mistake from the start-Mejia has suffered significant injuries. Mejia had to undergo Tommy John Surgery prior to the 2011 season and this year he is recovering from forearm tendinitis. Throughout all these troubles, the growth and maturation of Mejia has been severely stunted.

With the way Shaun Marcum, Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner have pitched this year, Mejia (if he eventually rights himself) could help give the rotation a nice shot in the arm. Some fresh blood could be what the Mets need. They will certainly get that jolt when Wheeler gets the call, but Mejia may not be too far behind. Well, then again, Mejia needs to show he is healthy before any call up can be even entertained.

With the Mets epically struggling, what they have to do this time is stay true to Mejia as a starter and let him work through his struggles—and no doubt he’ll run into some trouble. They have to remain patient with Mejia and fully support him as he tries to harness his stuff as a starter.

You always have the luxury of sending Mejia back to the bullpen in the event he fails as a starter, but that clutch should be used as a last resort. Give Mejia the time to develop, regroup and refocus and see what you got in the kid. After all, Mejia is still just 23 years-old.

At this point, what do the Mets have to lose?

8 comments on “Jenrry Mejia on the mend, but is he part of the solution?

  • Brian Joura

    Glad to hear Mejia is back pitching. He needs to be thought of as a SP only and given the chance to work exclusively as a starter, regardless of what level that places him in.

  • Junk Male

    The key to whether Mejia is physically ready to be a difference maker will be his velocity. If it’s there, he can work on getting major league ready. If it’s not, no amount of work will matter. Simple, but true.

  • za

    We forget about him because he lost his prospect status and because he has been injured. The guy still throws mid-90s with extreme groundball rates. Let’s hope he stays healthy enough to become part of thqe solution whether starting, relieving, or as trade bait.

  • peter

    Help the rotation towards what end? As a number 5 starter? Give him at least one season without a significant injury and then re-evaluate him then, The Mets need help everywhere. There is no point in rushing him even if it means he doesn’t pitch in the majors this season.

  • Name

    Meija is one of our long list of prospects (Carson, Familia, Elvin last year) who can’t find the strike zone at the major league level. If you can’t throw strikes effectively, you will never amount to anything. Someone needs to show them that the plate and distance from the mound is the same as in the minors.

  • Bryan Mcwilliam

    The starter to bullpen back and forth experiment fails so often. Look at Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.

    Pick a spot, put him in it and let him stick with it for a while. Your team isn’t doing anything with that spot anyways. Let Mejia jump in (when he is healthy) and learn the ways of being a starter for a full season. It’s the best way for him to learn.

    • Name

      While it has worked terribly for the Yankees, it has worked well for the Cards and the Rangers.
      Alexi Ogando has been switched back and forth so many times, yet he is still pitching effectively. Feliz also made the transition well, although he had to have TJ surgery so it remains to see what he will be when he comes back.
      The Cards have a history of putting the starters in the bullpen to start with and then transitioning them to the rotation. Lance Lynn did that last year, although he faded badly in the 2nd half. Another notable example is Wainwright, which we all remember all so well because of the 06 playoffs.

      Of course, none of this matters if you can’t throw strikes

  • NormE

    “It wasn’t too long ago that Mejia was being touted as a difference maker”.

    I’m sorry Dan, but the Mets did with Mejia what teams often do. They over-hyped him and then, even worse, allowed
    Jerry Manuel too abuse him.

    Mejia came along at a time when the upper levels of the Mets farm system had very little in the way of major league
    caliber pitching talent. In a system such as St. Louis, he would have been given the chance to develop and then
    judged as to whether or not he could pitch in the show.

    While I hope that Mejia may eventually do well with the Mets, I wouldn’t bet on it.

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