Jenrry Mejia is struggling. The right-handed fireballer was moved to the bullpen earlier this month, a decision made by the Mets front office. Mejia was having success as a starter through the first two months of the season, posting a 1.13 ERA in his three starts with the Bisons, but was moved to the bullpen as a precaution. Mejia has never pitched 100 innings as a professional and also underwent Tommy John Surgery last year.
Since moving to the ‘pen, Mejia has been dreadful. He has allowed runs in three of his five appearances, including last night’s game in which he was charged with four runs (three earned) on three hits and a walk. He was pulled after recording just one out. He has now allowed a total of seven runs in four innings as a relief pitcher.
The front office is hoping to use Mejia as a reliever later this season, but if he keeps struggling like this in Buffalo, that’s not going to happen.
Personally, I think it was the wrong move to put Mejia in the ‘pen in the first place. He was converted to a reliever in 2010 in Omar Minaya’s desperate attempt to solidify the bullpen. That went horribly wrong and it set Mejia back a year in his development. Doing it again is a big mistake, in my opinion. His off-speed pitches are his weakness, and the only way to really work on them is to start. What the Mets front office should have done is let him throw 110-120 innings as a starter, and then just shut him down for the year. That way he is building up his arm strength and getting an opportunity to develop . Precious innings are being wasted.