The fireballing Mets right-hander Jenrry Mejia turned heads in Spring Training last season after he made the team’s opening day roster at only 20 years of age. Mejia was used out of the bullpen in relief throughout the course of the first few months of the year before he was demoted to AAA to be developed as a starting pitcher.
Mejia worked for a few months in AAA as a starter before he was promoted back to the major league team later in the season, when he made a few starts for the Mets. In a recent update at ESPN.com, Mets’ beat writer Adam Rubin refreshed everyone’s memory about Mejia, mentioning that he was shut down later in the season due to a shoulder issue in his throwing arm after making a few starts.
Mejia claims that the injury is repaired now and that he made a few pitching appearances in the Dominican Republic during the off-season, when he spent time training at the Mets’ facility in the DR. Mejia said that he doesn’t mind where the Mets put him to start the season, whether it will be the major league team or AAA Buffalo.
With the uncertainty surrounding the Mets’ bullpen going into the season, I could see the Mets using Mejia until they find some stability in relief. Aside from Bobby Parnell and Francisco Rodriguez, the bullpen is up in the air, especially following the departure of new crosstown rival Pedro Feliciano. I suspect the Mets will give Mejia a chance this spring to prove himself in St. Lucie before they give him a shot on the major league roster, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he easily made the team since the Mets did not hesitate on pulling the trigger to bring him along last year.
The only problem I would find the Mets running into besides perhaps a poor spring audition from Mejia, would be that the team already has a similar fireballer in Parnell. Whether that would make a difference is yet to be known, so it should be an interesting battle in the Spring.