Jenrry Mejia Out with Elbow Injury

According to the Mets PR department, top prospect Jenrry Mejia has been diagnosed with an elbow injury and will be shut down.

From the official release:

Righthanded pitcher Jenrry Mejia was examined today by Mets Medical Director Dr. David Altchek and was found to have a complete MCL tear of the right elbow. Mejia underwent an MRI at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Surgical treatment has been recommended, but Mejia is expected to seek a second opinion.

This is not good news, obviously. What adds to the sadness about this is it might have been avoided. It’s fairly common for an elbow injury to either precede or follow a shoulder injury, and since the Mets never made a significant change to his dangerous mechanics, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

Luckily, elbow surgery has a fairly good success rate in comparison to shoulder surgery. What are the chances that upon his return, someone qualified takes a good look at Mejia’s mechanics and makes changes to avert this happening again?

BTW, I’m not sure why the injured body part is being called “MCL”; technically speaking, “MCL” refers to something in the knee. The elbow has three ligaments: ulnar collateral, radial collateral, and anular. For whatever reason, Dr. Altcheck refers to the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) as “MCL”. Whatever you call it, if it’s torn, then Jenrry needs “Tommy John Surgery”. But hey, I’m not a doctor — I don’t even play one on TV, so what do I know?


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Mike May 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    “It is what it is,” Mejia said about the injury. “Something happened for whatever reason.”

    That “for whatever reason” is pretty scary. I love to listen to Joe when he explains a pitcher’s mechanics but something about it makes me want to believe that organizations know what they are doing. If Mejia does have this flaw and an amateur scout like Joe can spot it then it is scary that the organization cannot.

  2. Walnutz15 May 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm
  3. daxmontana May 3, 2011 at 10:58 am
    Not a physician either but I bet ucl and mcl are somewhat synonymous. UCL sounds a bit more precise (related in some way to the ulna), while MCL just means that it lies somewhere in the middle of the joint.
    Or, Dr. Altcheck’s an idiot, which, when dealing with NYM medical staff, probably ain’t out of the question.