While it wasn’t a jaw-dropping performance, Jenrry Mejia had himself quite a second start when he dropped a 3-2 decision on Wednesday night to the Miami Marlins.
Although he didn’t receive the win, Mejia battled in an out of trouble (after giving up three runs in the second and third innings) and looked poised while on the mound. Mejia now has two quality starts under his belt after coming off the DL with elbow inflammation last week. After two starts, Mejia is now 1-1 with a 2.07 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Mejia has also 11 strikeouts to just one walk in 13 innings pitched.
So, with Mejia pitching this well, it begs the question: Where does he stand in the rotation going forward?
After being yo-yoed between the rotation and the bullpen for most of his professional career, Mejia has the looks of a pitcher who feels comfortable being part of a staff.
Although he’s had a history of various injuries, Mejia appears to be blossoming into the pitcher we all thought he could become. His recent success is just a bonus to a Mets’ franchise that is pitching heavy.
No one should argue that Mejia should remain in the rotation for the rest of the season—even when Jonathon Niese comes back. Mejia has to stick in the rotation so we can finally see what this kid (and at 23, he still can, in essence, be called a kid) is made of.
With Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler about to be preserved due to innings limits, Mejia’s impact couldn’t have come at a better time. With the Mets not likely to be in contention in the fall, Mejia will be given a good, long hard look. If Mejia is to be a future starter with the Mets, he has to be adequately stretched out and these last two months should give us a good indicator of the pitcher Mejia can be. This should be the audition that really distinguishes what Mejia will become.
If anything, Mejia could be a nice trading chip to work with in the offseason. If not traded in the offseason, we could be looking at the Mets’ fourth or fifth starter for the foreseeable future—and that may not be such a bad thing.