Jenrry Mejia revealed last week that he has been dealing with a sports hernia injury for a few weeks. Mejia insisted he could pitch through the injury and was being prescribed medication to help the condition. Mejia also acknowledged that he will eventually have to undergo surgery, but that he felt he wanted to finish the season and it wouldn't affect him. The results have indicated otherwise.
Mejia appeared to be fine right after the All Star Break, recording five consecutive saves and failing to give up a run in that span. When the calendar turned to August, which coincides with Mejia's hernia injury, the results have been dreadful. Mejia has picked up three losses and blown a save in 8.2 innings of work. Mejia has given up a lot of base runners, allowing 15 hits and walking two in that span. Mejia has also watched his ERA balloon from 3.58 on August 2nd to 4.04 entering tonight's game.
Mejia has been getting hit hard, and balls have started to leave the yard too. Mejia has given up homers in consecutive outings, including a massive bomb to Cubs' second baseman Javier Baez on Monday. Mejia has given up at least one run in five of his nine appearances in August, and his ERA for the month is an unsightly 7.27. Mejia has also recorded only one clean inning this month, which isn't good for a closer.
Mejia's willingness to pitch through the injury is admirable, but it is affecting his performance and hurting the team. Former Met Tim Byrdak, who pitched with a sports hernia in 2010, advised Mejia on Twitter to just get the surgery back on August 10th. Byrdak pointed out that he was unable to finish his pitches with the hernia, and that the results would not improve. Mejia's decline in performance this month has made Byrdak look like a prophet.
If Mejia can't right his ship soon, the Mets should strongly consider shutting him down for the year to get the surgery done. The Mets have a guy who could close games in Jeurys Familia, and the Mets need Mejia healthy for next season. Mejia could also risk injury by trying to compensate for the hernia problem by altering his delivery or mechanics. That is a risk the Mets should try to avoid, and if the results don't improve Mejia should shut it down for the good of the team.
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