I know, we are that the here we go again moment with Jennry Mejia. For one I believe Mejia will be given a chance to be a starter, regardless of what his role is to start the season. What I believe the Mets are doing is trying to look at this as logical as possible and as fans that's not always easy for us. For us, we want to win some damn games and see some young kids doing it. For the Mets, it isn't that simple.
I do not have to go into the history of Mejia to the pen or his injury report. I will only say this, he is recovering from August elbow surgery. While it was just "routine" removal of bone chips and he is said to be healthy, we are talking about a guy who has topped out at a little over 100 innings as his professional innings high.
So what if the Mets planned to use Mejia intelligently to build arm strength while also limiting his innings to start the season? Perhaps a modified plan?
On every 5th day Mejia would be scheduled for bullpen work, if that comes in terms of long relief then so be it. If not then he will pitch his innings (it could be innings 7-9 as we have seen other teams do) and finish on the side. This would also allow him to do the long-tossing he requires before starting. However, the Mets wouldn't want him to completely limit himself to the guy we only see every 5 days. So what do you do in-between? Side sessions that just happen to be in the game... so again planned usage in the game that if it doesn't occur will occur on the side.
So will this plan limit the Mets bullpen choices at times? Sure. But what it does do is give Mejia time to build arm strength and recover fully from surgery, time to develop at the Major League level, limit his innings keeping him fresh for later in the year, and foremost keep the most quality pitchers on the staff at one time for depth.
This is something missed. Could Mejia out of the gates out pitch Dice-K and Lannan? Most likely. However, what do you do when he is shut down after 125 innings in late July? Oh well Montero and Thor will be ready. Perhaps but then your hand is forced. You are also assuming that Gee, Niese, Colon and Wheeler are all healthy, in my opinion that's a huge assumption. Lets assume they are all healthy, many have mentioned looking to trade one of those starters for the missing bat, having a fresh Mejia to take one of those spots allows more flexibility if a move like that were to occur.
So what would my idea opening day staff look like?
Dice-K (extra guy until 5th spot is needed)
I really wanted room to put Lannan in as well as the long-man but with Torres and Mejia that would become impossible for now. However, Lannan most likely would be added by his cut off date in June.
So what does this ultimately do? All of the things mentioned before with Mejia but also keeps Dice-K and Lannan around while giving the Mets a versatile bullpen that can get outs and plenty of guys who can not only face more than one batter but can pitch more than one inning, something the Mets have been missing for a while now.
Ultimately, my message is to stop panicking and running around like babies just because Mejia may not start at the beginning of the season. He's still a kid recovering from surgery and will get his chances, relax and enjoy baseball.