Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rosenthal is Right: The Mets Shouldn't Rush Mejia

In an article for FOXSports.com, Ken Rosenthal asks what the Mets could screw up next, and then answers, Jenrry Mejia.  Rosenthal says, "He went winless in 10 starts at Double A last season, struggled in the Arizona Fall League. Yet there is growing sentiment within the Mets’ organization that Mejia should make the team as a reliever, maybe even as Frankie Rodriguez’s setup man."  Then Rosenthal goes on to say that Mejia draws comparisons to Mariano Rivera and acknowledges that Mejia "actually might be that good."

Rosenthal says of Mejia, "The Mets currently project Mejia to be in their Double A rotation -- he had a 4.47 ERA at that level last season, pitching for a poor club..."  I think this is the right plan of action here, especially considering that he put up a 4.47 ERA as a 19 year old.  Rosenthal is dead on, and I've been saying this for some time now, there is no reason to rush Mejia.  I can only hope that Manuel doesn't use Mejia to bail himself out of trouble, should the Mets get off to a poor start.

This kid doesn't just look good, he looks great, and there's nothing more exciting to a Mets fan than potentially having another Doc Gooden on our hands.  As much as I like the idea of the Mets having a Mariano Rivera, I think I'd rather have a dominant starter than a dominant reliever because starters have more of an impact on any given game, based solely on the amount of time they spend on the mound.

Rosental has some great quotes about Mejia later in the article from other members of the Mets.  David Wright said of Mejia, "One of the great things about him is that he’s so level-headed. He’s not buying into all this hype around he’s reading about himself. He still comes in, works his tail off."  And Warthen said of Mejia, "This kid is not afraid. He believes the last two years he was cheated out of major-league time."

I think both of these quotes are telling of the type of player Mejia is.  Mejia has great stuff and can be dominant, this we've seen.  But what the fans haven't seen, and can only know from insiders, is the type of work ethic he has.  That Wright acknowledges how hard he works, and Warthen sees a chip on his shoulder shows me the type of player he is and the character this kid has.  Putting him in Binghamton is the best move, and will do nothing but make him want to work harder.

Overall, I wish the Mets would do what the Rangers did last year with Neftali Feliz.  Let him be a starter in the minors and then at the end of the season, bring him up to get a taste of the majors.  If you do this, he can keep his innings down for the year, while still getting experience on the major league level.  Then, next year, let him play in the majors...this time, give him a chance to compete to become a starter.  Which is what he should be...

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