The Mets appear to be dealing with what I believe is another made for TV (internet) drama. "Mejia doesn't want to pitch in relief, would rather go to AAA". And now about 24 hours later we get:
So why the reversal? Because there wasn't ever a relevant comment from Mejia this season saying what was implied to start with. Mejia had already said he would do whatever the team wanted during spring training but somehow that quote got lost in translation.
So forget all this clickmongering, what is best for Jenrry and the Mets?
One thing is clear, the Mets have starting pitching depth. For the first time we aren't just relying on Tim Redding and the late Lima or my favorite Figgy. There's depth here and now and knocking and pushing not just for a spot start but permanent spots.
Another thing is also clear, the Mets do not have a closer this year and possibly much of next year when Parnell returns.
The article above does bring in some good topics for conversation.
"Transitioning Mejia to that role would alleviate an impending logjam in the rotation, repair the Mets' bullpen and, potentially, best leverage Mejia's skill set."
While it may be too early to make this decision, damned if it doesn't make the most sense from the Mets perspective.
"The numbers support that claim. In 91 professional starts, Mejia has lasted more than seven innings just twice, often plagued by a high pitch count. In the major leagues, he has averaged less than five innings per start."
OK on this one we are forgetting that the guy has constantly been on low pitch counts due to age and his injury history. This brings up Mejia's primary concern (perhaps besides the pay difference between starter and reliever). Due to his injury he takes a long time to warm-up. I have to wonder if that is just an excuse, fear or reality? However, Mejia also pointed out in this article that as a closer it would be easier because he would have a defined role and would know when to start amping things up on most nights. There is validity to that. Valverde seemed to imply that was one of the hardest parts for him in Detroit as did Krod in the past.
So what is best for Mejia? At this point I believe the Mets have reached a point that is close to or past the point of no return. The decision they make this time in my opinion will be the final one (or at least should be). If Mejia stays in the rotation all year, he is a starter for the Mets or is traded by the Mets. If he does become the closer, I do not think he is bumping any of the current guys out. I also think, perhaps misguidedly because things never work out the way they are planned for the Mets, that Mejia will be successful in the role.
Final question, if the Mets decide that this is the fate for Mejia and he will be the closer, how long do you wait? The plans seem to be to bring up Degrom and or Montero for bullpen relief. They do not consider either an option for closer and plan on both continuing to be starters down the road. Thus wouldn't it make more sense to make the Mejia move and bring up one of those two for starter and the other for relief?
A pen of Mejia, Familia, Degrom, Torres, German, Rice, Black would be full of young guys with something to prove and a lot of versatility. A rotation of
Wheeler, Niese, Colon, Gee and Montero with Thor on the way? I can't find fault with that either.