When Jenrry Mejia started the season 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA, it looked like the New York Mets had hit a home run in the back of their rotation. Mejia, a former top prospect, appeared to be finally fulfilling his potential as a top of the line starting pitcher. The wheels have fallen off since then, however, as Mejia has gotten rocked in his last three starts and has failed to get out of the fifth inning in two of them.
Mejia is in danger of losing his spot in the Mets' starting rotation, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports. Mejia met with manager Terry Collins on Saturday afternoon and was told that the Mets have not decided if he will make his next scheduled start on Wednesday night. That game would be against Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees at Citi Field. If Mejia is booted from the rotation, he would reportedly move to relief and the Mets would recall a pitcher from Triple-A Las Vegas to make the start.
The leading candidate appears to be Rafael Montero, who is 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA for the Las Vegas 51's in eight starts this season. Collins is reportedly hoping to strengthen his bullpen by moving Mejia out there and adding a top young arm to the rotation. Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen are both expected to discuss the situation with GM Sandy Alderson, who appears to be hesitant to bring up Montero this quickly. It would seem out of character for the Mets to bring Montero up for his debut in the pressure cooker environment that is the Subway Series.
There is also the matter of Mejia moving to the bullpen. Mejia has voiced his opposition to relief work in the past, saying that he feels like he will have a longer career as a starting pitcher. Mejia has struggled out of the bullpen in the past, and he has every reason to be concerned after having undergone two elbow surgeries in his career. The Mets also have a right to be concerned about the stress Mejia is putting on himself in the rotation, as he is throwing over 100 pitches every time out and barely getting through five innings. This is a developing situation, and we will keep monitoring it for you here at Mets 101.Baseball, Jenrry Mejia, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Rafael Montero, Terry Collins