Jenrry Mejia Out Six Weeks

Sometimes a slow news day isn’t so bad.

According to several reports, Jenrry Mejia has been shut down by the Mets due to elbow inflammation, and will not pitch for at least six weeks.

An MRI has revealed no structural damage, so the injury is somewhat of a mystery.

Anyone who has followed MetsToday for a while, and has read the many analyses regarding Mejia’s mechanics, should not be surprised at this news. Still, there is no comfort in seeing forecasts like this realized. When will MLB decision-makers wake up and realize there is something called “science” that can help them evaluate pitching mechanics and give their pitchers a better shot at remaining healthy? How many flamethrowers under the age of 25 have to flame out before someone stands up and says, “hey, maybe pitching coaches don’t know a friggin’ thing about human anatomy and complex principles of biomechanics and kinesiology”?

Seeking the advice and recommendations of surgeons was a step in the right direction, but that step is over a decade old and horrifically incomplete (surgeons are experts in surgery, and not necessarily athletic movement). Sadly, I’m certain there are a handful of MLB organizations who take kinesiology seriously, but they keep it a locked-tight secret for competitive advantage. Meanwhile, thousands of youngsters at every level of the game from pre-little league to MLB are using dangerous mechanics.

** end rant **

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. Walnutz15 March 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm
    Astounding to me that amidst all of these hurdles and years spent within the organization, they still haven’t taught him manageable mechanics.

    ……….especially after TJ Surgery. He’s never going to contribute, IMHO – though, I felt that way a long time ago, largely based off the way he was being handled.

    Similarly, I’d like to congratulate the Outfield Version of Mejia (Fernando Martinez) for cracking the Astros’ opening day roster —- even if he’s already being held out of action with yet another back injury.

    *Caution: this tip o’ the cap is dripping with sarcasm*

    “Fernando Martinez has made the Astros’ 25-man roster.

    Martinez has been out of action for over a week with a back injury, but the ‘Stros expect him to be fine by Opening Day. He will serve as a backup outfielder.

    Mar 25 – 2:52 PM
    Source: Brian McTaggart on Twitter”

    If he were on the Mets right now, sitting out a week with a bad back – he’d be getting crucified.

    Especially coming off the tail-end of last season, where he was sitting out after a concussion….with a boil on his leg.

    2 more Minaya wunderkinds that Major League teams are still waiting on, 7 years later.

    • Izzy March 27, 2013 at 7:06 am
      Does blasting Minaya with your assinine final comment help you accept the absolutely horrid Alderson regime. For your info, every GM, even your lord Failureson has failures all over the place. But hey, lets divert from today’s lousy team by bringing up Minaya who wait, lets see won a Division and had something Alderson hasn’t come close to…. WINNING SEASONS. I know I know, its more important to keep Fred out of the poor house!
      • Walnutz15 March 27, 2013 at 8:24 am
        Izzy – in addition to being a flat-out moron on this site….you bring nothing to the table with your continuous “Failurson” crap.

        I’m not even the biggest Alderson supporter, but do realize morons when I come across them.

        Yourself and Minaya are shining beacons.

        • Jay Horwitz March 27, 2013 at 8:36 am
          Give me a one-hundred thirty-seven million dollar payroll and I’ll build you a winner, too.
        • Joe Janish March 27, 2013 at 9:37 am
          C’mon guys, play nice – we don’t want this site devolving into something that more resembles other blogs reporting on the orange and blue.

          Izzy, we get it – you’re bitter about the Wilpons and the public perception of Alderson (outside of this blog). As everyone here knows, MetsToday is the Fox News of the Mets Blogosphere, providing “Fair and Balanced” opinion and commentary, and 90% of us agree with much of your opinion — so it’s not necessary to repeat it several times a day, as you’re preaching to the choir. However, I’m not going to stop you from being repetitive — that’s your choice. At the same time, I ask you and EVERYONE, please keep the focus on the conversation and avoid personal jabs at each other. No name-calling, OK? We’re all in this together. Thanks.

        • Walnutz15 March 27, 2013 at 9:51 am
          Izzy would do wonders for himself by dropping the “broad-brush” paintjob he does for anyone who utters a word against something he doesn’t believe.

          For example, labeling Alderson as my “lord” doesn’t even remotely apply. To quote Mr. Izzy – “do some research”.

        • NormE March 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm
          Good going, Joe.
          I think most of realize that the Selig/ Wilpon/Alderson relationship is based the related needs of the parties.

          Selig wants to show that the small-market approach can work, thus proving to owners that you can win without spending like George Steinbrenner used to. He also wants to reward Fred Wilpon for his loyalty, which is why he helped ownership through the Madoff mess.

          Wilpon wants to hold onto the team and knows that his
          relationship with Selig is the key.

          Alderson wants to replace Bud as commish whenever the job opens up. Thus, he is trying his best to play the game by Bud’s rules.

          The fans are the party that is left holding the bag. Winning is what we want, but it is not the top priority of the above entities.

        • Joe Janish March 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm
          Well stated, thank you.

          So, other than about 10% of the audience here, do we all agree? Great. Let’s move on …

  2. AC Wayne March 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm
    Hopefully Mejia can rehab and give the organization something other than the starting pitcher/relief pitcher conundrum that they’ve be haunted with
    as for the short-term, Marcum will most likely be heading to the DL, which means Collins will have his fair share of “when will we see Wheeler?” some of the skipper’s comments thus far on the subject , “he needs to go to Triple-A, he needs to face hitters in Triple-A” (Ok, I get that) “He needs to go work on his stuff and he needs to be able to do what he did midseason, which is pound the strike zone,” (I agree) but this one makes me scratch my head, “In the games he’s thrown over there [in the minors], they say he’s been a little wild.” (whoa, why would you say that??) I respect Collins for being a company man, but you can’t honestly think that a guy in his lame-duck year as mgr will not champion for Wheeler to help his cause sooner and is just fine with Hefner/Laffey rounding out the back of his rotation, let’s face it, Marcum and Santana could be out for a month, Alderson and Co. have got to consider speeding up Wheeler track to the majors??? Is it still late July??
    • Izzy March 27, 2013 at 7:10 am
      The truly small market Minnesota Twins just announced their # 1 prospect is starting the season in the bigs. The GM said he couldn’t look Mauer and Mourneau in the eyes if he didn’t do everything he could to help the team win. Alderson, just spews out the BS and protects Fred’s dwindling wallet. And Met fans, too many have been so beaten down that they accept his crap and the need to worry about arbitration and a year of player ownership over trying to win. They lie and Collins has to lie because he’s part of the management team. Sad but true. And when someone tells you everyone does what the Mets are doing, its just not true. Some GMS out there still try to win.
  3. Dan B March 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    Good comment, Norm. The dumbest part of the equation is Selig’s desire to prove the small market approach works. The Yankees (and the Red Sox and the Phillies) are not only amoung the most profitable teams, but they draw the most fans on the road. Do Braves fans care that the Mets have pitching prospects? All they know is the Major League Mets have only one player (Wright) they might be interested in seeing. Baseball profits will go up with increased fan interest, not by reducing costs. Seleg, just like the Wilpons, are spending dollars to save a dime.
    • DaveSchneck March 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm
      Dan and Norm,
      I agree with most points made my Norm, but I still do not buy into the “conspiracy theory” of Selig wanting the Mets to be the example of a big market team winning like a small market team. There is really no evidence of this. Just look at the Dodgers, Selig supported quite the opposite approach – McCourt was bleeding the team, slashing payroll, and taking money out of the MLB business. It is the latter point that got him bounced. The Wilpons, in all their ineffectiveness, never sucked money out of the team. The new ownership in LA, there as a result on MLB actions led by Selig, has instantly blitzed the league and surpassed the Yankees as the “big spenders”. While the Yanks are showing a more controlled approach, there is some sentiment that the Dodgers will push thier payroll past $250 mil. Not exactly a small market approach. I think Bud just did two things – recommended Alderson, who was the availalbe candidate with the best qualifications, and gave his buddy Fred a $25 mil temp loan from MLB to get him through a tight cash period. I 100% concur that it is the Met fan left holding the bag, and unless/until the collective Met fans speak with their wallets, that won’t change.
      • NormE March 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm
        DaveSchneck, I understand your criticism of the “conspiracy theory”, but with respect to your example of the Dodgers, there was another issue at play. Selig absolutely hated McCourt. He felt that McCourt’s purchase of the Dodgers was a stain on his legacy as commissioner. The purchase of the Dodgers by present ownership was more palatable than allowing McCourt to continue to rape the team. If the Dodgers are successful, so be it. But, if they falter then Selig can point to another example of big spending not being a guaranteed path to success.
      • Joe Janish March 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm
        One can go either way with the conspiracy theory; personally, I’m a believer.

        What can’t be argued is that Bud Selig has been wanting a salary cap since his days as owner of the Brewers, and finally has the next-best-thing — the $189M luxury tax. The irony is that Bud always cried poverty as a “small market” owner, yet managed to make for himself an astounding pile of hundreds of millions of dollars. What he did to the fans of Milwaukee — forcing them to fund a brand-new stadium, promising to deliver a championship club in return, and then dramatically slashing payroll immediately after getting the new park — was egregious. And guess what? The people of Milwaukee — be they baseball fans or not — continue to pay taxes for a Miller Park slush fund. Bud and his family sold the club for $200M in 2005, and now earns a princely salary of about $20M per year as MLB commissioner. Yet he continues to whine about the escalating salaries of players, and how “poor” clubs like the Brewers and Pirates just can’t compete.

        Can’t compete? Well here’s an idea: contract! If a team can’t afford to pay for 25 MLB-quality players, then that team should be in the minors, not the Majors. Why MUST there be 30 clubs? Why MUST small markets have big-time baseball? What’s so wrong with providing minor league baseball? Often, the minor league teams offer a more entertaining and compelling product.

        But I digress …

        Selig instituted an artificial salary cap. Had he known the new Dodgers owners were going to urinate on it, he might have had reservations about approving their purchase of the club. But, he was also in a tough spot publicly — he HAD TO get the McCourts out, and the Magic Johnson group was too good (especially from a public relations perspective) to pass up. So I don’t think the Dodgers ownership is a legit piece of evidence against the conspiracy theory. But, if the Dodgers finished in third place, I guarantee that behind closed doors, Selig will be smiling smugly and telling his friends, “see, you can’t buy a winner.”

  4. Dan B March 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm
    Speaking of being penny wise but pound foolish, is Izzy correct that the Mets should bring up d’Arnaud and Wheeler if they are ready? If those guys are busts, it will cost the Mets millions more then what they would save in arbitration. The entire rebuilding process would go back to square one. Expensive free agents would be needed. d’Arnaud is not a puppy, he needs to be learning life in the Majors. If they are the real deal, the revenue will follow to pay their salaries.
    • Joe Janish March 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm
      Good point, Dan.

      See, that’s what I don’t get. The Mets are going to have a hard time selling tickets this year. If d’Arnaud and Wheeler can inject some enthusiasm and provide hope, more tickets might be sold. And as you suggest — if they’re busts, what have the Mets saved in holding them back?

      • argonbunnies March 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm
        Easier to work on process when there’s less emphasis on product.

        D’Arnaud and Wheeler know they’re ticketed for the majors; they can spend their AAA time focused on improving. Tracking pitches, repeating mechanics, etc., to learn to hit a curveball or dot the inside corner to a lefty. Once they’re in the majors, it’ll be Results Now! and that’s a tougher environment to work on things that don’t pay immediate dividends.

        I know I’ve said this before, but I really believe it. It’s been my experience playing sports at different levels. When I was cream of the crop, I could work on my weaknesses. When I was struggling to survive, I stuck to my strengths. There were some skills I never learned, because I didn’t have enough of the right kinds of opportunities to work on them.

        On top of all that, I do think saving an arbitration year is big deal. With the difference between rookie minimum and the money players are making in arbitration these days, it basically amounts to getting 4 months of production for free.

        • Joe Janish March 28, 2013 at 8:39 am
          I’m with you from the perspective of developing skills, and in the case of Wheeler, there’s a valid argument that he needs more time; with d’Arnaud, I’m not sure what more he needs to prove at AAA. Where I’m lost is from the business angle — the Mets appear to be in need of revenue, and in need of creating excitement amongst its fan base. Sure, the current Mets ownership may save a few bucks on arbitration, etc., but will they be around when that benefit is realized? Or will they have sold the team by then? (fingers crossed!)
  5. Dan B March 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    First of all, it is not small vs. large market teams. It is small revenue vs large revenue. Mets play in the same market as the Yankees but have much different revenues. But that implies it is ability and not random ggeographics effecting results. Bud can’t have that! Second of all, the idea of small vs large is an artificially created market created by MLB. Any disparity would be eliminated if teams could move freely. My economics professor could easily explain why everyone would benefit. My professor could not explain, however, how and why Mejia got hurt which brings us back to our original post.
  6. NormE March 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    Dan B—-a unique concept—-the original post!

    Joe Janish is correct (as is often the case) about biomechanics and kinesiology. One would think that with all the money and time expended by teams that they would avail themselves of the latest that science has to offer in keeping their athletes healthy.
    It’s somewhat similar to the struggle labor unions had (and still have) in trying to convince employers that safety regulations and good medical care helps improve profits by keeping healthy workers on the job.
    Sometimes ownership/management takes the view that they way they’ve always done things shouldn’t be changed because change is an unknown and the unknown is scary and besides, why tinker with success ( as they define it).

    • Joe Janish March 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm
      Norm, nice parallel. The concept applies not only to the unions/employers but also to the bed shared by employers and medical insurance companies, especially now that new regulations have resulted in high-deductible plans, which tend to prevent insured people from visiting the doctor. Not to mention the historically spotty coverage of mental health, which is an alarming issue no one wants to discuss (i.e., “I can’t see the injury/illness via naked eye, nor on an X-ray / CAT scan / ? well then it must not exist!”) Employers save a tiny amount of money over the short-term, but lose a ton over the long-term via employee absence and/or the cost of replacement.

      Ack! I’ve digressed again … this is supposed to be a Mets blog … but, as they say, “baseball imitates life.” Or something …

  7. argonbunnies March 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm
    Since none of the OF discussions appear to be active, I’ll say this here:

    If we were going to give time to a veteran RH OF who isn’t part of out future, why not Vladimir Guerrero or Manny Ramirez? If the team’s gonna do something dumb, it might as well at least be entertaining.

    • Joe Janish March 28, 2013 at 8:41 am
      Watching Marlon Byrd pop up and ground into DPs isn’t entertaining? Being on the edge of your seat wondering if he’ll pass his next PEDs test isn’t your idea of a fun time?
  8. Dan B March 28, 2013 at 10:01 am
    Joe, you beat me to the point. D’Arnaud is 24. He needs to start learning how to handle himself as a pro. The Mets need him contributing in 2014. I do agree with Argonbunnies about Wheeler. But worrying about d’Arnaud’s arbitration money for a NY market team seems petty compared to the revenue problems they will have.