December 9, 2013

What Can We Truly Expect From Mejia?

Many Mets fans are expecting Jenrry Mejia to build upon his performance from last year, and become one more of the young stud arms out of the Mets system. While I believe he will be starting for the Mets this year, and agree that his overall command was sharper in 2013 than previously, I find myself in the same camp as Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Photo by Michael Baron
Mejia has been up with the Mets three separate times, none for any length of time. He has shown promise, but a lot of fragility has been on display as well. He missed time last season due to bone spurs in his elbow, and only returned in 2012 from Tommy John surgery. The franchise has been back and forth in the past about whether Mejia's future lies in the bullpen or as a starter, and reducing his innings pitched while still benefiting from his effectiveness is a definite upside to transforming him into a relief arm.

Simply put, as a starter, Mejia can't be relied upon. If he doesn't outright miss time to an arm injury, there is at least the decent possibility that it cuts down on his effectiveness. Elbow pain or discomfort would really hamper his ability to throw the slider Dan Warthen taught him effectively, and the revelation of that new pitch played a big role in how well he fared last season.

Additionally, I would certainly have Mejia on the table at the Winter Meetings. The club is stacked in the young pitching department. While other teams may have the same concerns about Mejia's health that the Mets do, he showed flashes of a front of the rotation pitcher while he was up last year. He may not himself bring back major-league ready talent, but if a team insisted on a pitcher to be packaged with Ike Davis or Daniel Murphy to acquire a real shortstop, Mejia would be on the top of my list.

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