Tag: jenrry mejia

Mets Game 146: Win Over Pirates

Mets 8 Pirates 7

Thankfully, there weren’t too many impressionable kids in the stands, and hopefully, there weren’t too many aspiring youngsters watching the game on TV — because the Mets and Pirates put on a clinic on how NOT to play baseball.

In the end, the Mets were less terrible than the Pirates, and wound up with more runs than the visitors at the conclusion of the contest. And “contest” is a pretty suitable word, as the “winner” seemed to have won a sweepstakes contest rather than earned a game victory.

Unfortunately, not only was this a three-hour disgrace to professional baseball, but Jenrry Mejia left the game in the third inning with pain in the back of his shoulder.

Game Notes

Maybe I’m being a bit tough on these two teams, but if you saw the third and fourth frames, you’d feel similarly. The Mets played like an A ball club, making errors, displaying poor fundamentals, and Raul Valdes serving up BP fastballs. But the Pirates were even worse, looking like a bad high school JV team, as they handed the Mets 7 runs in the bottom half of the fourth via a multitude of physical and mental errors and just plain bad baseball.

Fittingly, the top Mets minor leaguers were honored in a postgame ceremony.

The boxscore reported an attendance of 29,000. There is absolutely no way there were that many people at the game. I’d be surprised if there were half that many, in reality. The promenade level was almost completely empty, and the lower levels were sparse.

Of the 15 combined runs scored in this game, 9 were earned. Only 3 errors were listed by the official scorer, but there were at least three times as many mental errors and pull-your-hair-out displays of poor execution.

After the game, the Mets reported that Jenrry Mejia suffered an “acute strain” in the back of his shoulder and will receive an MRI right away. You have to wonder why Mejia — who is more or less the crown jewel of the farm system — wasn’t shut down after his injury in late June. Oh, because Omar Minaya still needed reasons to save his job, such as proving his ability to build a minor league system that could produce MLBers. I don’t care if the MRI shows nothing wrong — the Mets absolutely, positively must shut down Mejia for the remainder of the year if they care one bit about his future.

By the way, I stick to my belief that Mejia’s mechanics are flawed and dangerous. The illogical decisions to make Mejia a reliever then back to a starter likely accelerated the inevitable injury.

Next Mets Game

Thanks to the fact they are playing perhaps the worst team in baseball right now, the Mets have a valid shot at being over .500 by Thursday night. If the rain holds up, Mike Pelfrey faces Charlie Morton, who has a 1-11 record and a 9.05 ERA — numbers that hark us back to fond memories of the late Jose Lima.

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Mets Game 141: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 8 Mets 4

The game was over by the fourth inning. But for whatever reason, I kept watching till the end. Must be the same reason people stop to look at car accidents, or watch bad movies on Cinemax at 2 AM.

Game Notes

For the second straight start, Jenrry Mejia did not look like a Major League pitcher, displaying poor command of his fastball, inconsistency with his breaking pitches, and getting hit hard when he was throwing strikes. He did hit 95 a handful of times, but once again hovered in the 91-92 MPH range with his fastball. The numbers weren’t good, either: 6 runs on 9 hits and a walk in 4 innings and 81 pitches. It actually could’ve been 8 runs on 10 hits but Jose Reyes made a spectacular play to end the third and rob Placido Polanco of a two-run single. Additionally, Mejia did a terrible job of backing up home on a play at the plate — an issue we noticed in the previous start. Little things like this eventually affect the outcome of ballgames, and there is absolutely no excuse for failing to hustle your way into position.

On a positive note, Josh Thole had three hits and threw out a runner attempting to steal. His footwork looked really good on his throw to second base.

Also on a positive note, we got to see the great future HOFer Roy Halladay pitch his way to his 18th win of the year.

The best part of the game: Hernandez at the plate, Carter on deck (thanks to tweet by WFAN). Unfortunately it wasn’t Keith and Gary, but Luis and Chris.

Next Mets Game

Game two is one of those FOX telecasts, beginning at 4:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey faces Kyle Kendrick.

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Mets Game 136: Loss to Cubs

Cubs 5 Mets 3

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Chicago, but not so beautiful a debut for Jenrry Mejia.

Game Notes

The much-anticipated first MLB start by Jenrry Mejia was something of a letdown. Mejia allowed 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings, striking out 2 and expending 96 pitches. Perhaps more concerning than the stats was the fact his fastball generally hung around the 92-93 range — a far cry from the upper 90s that he displayed in the spring. He also was regularly shaking / shrugging his shoulder in between pitches — not sure if that is simply a habit or if something is bothering him. You may know he was shut down in late June for a few weeks with a rotator cuff strain, so perhaps this habit and the drop in velocity are related to that issue.

Mejia’s other pitches weren’t particularly noteworthy, either. On occasion, he threw a nasty curve with good 12-6 rotation — so there is some potential — but he didn’t have much command of it and he hung it several times. His change-up was more or less a throwaway pitch, as he rarely put it in the strike zone.

You may think that my analysis is “too critical” since Jenrry is only 20 years old. Well, that’s your right, but I’m looking at him as a Major League Pitcher — not as a random 20-year-old. If I saw him pitch this way in A or AA, I’d say, “hey, this kid has some potential — in a couple years the Mets may have something”. But he is NOT in the minors currently — he is in “The Show”, and by all accounts the Mets are penciling him in for a rotation spot (or at least, to compete for one) next spring. So his age is not nearly as important as his stage of development — and if he is in a Major League game, he has to be evaluated as a Major Leaguer. What I’m seeing is raw talent, but talent that needs to be further developed before pitching every five days against MLB hitters.

Something noticeable to me — and glad Bobby Ojeda pointed out in the postgame — was that when Mejia threw a pitch that went past Nickeas with a man on third, Mejia did not cover the plate. Another glaring indication of a pitcher who needs more minor league seasoning.

Mike Nickeas made his MLB debut catching for Mejia, which some people may have found mysterious since Nickeas is not a prospect. However, Mejia has pitched well in the minors with Nickeas as his backstop for the Binghamton Mets and Nickeas followed Mejia up to AAA Buffalo and caught his gem there. So it made sense to keep the tandem together for Mejia’s first MLB start — there certainly is a comfort level between the two. You might compare Nickeas to Crash Davis, without the homerun power.

Carlos Zambrano limited the Mets to 4 hits in 7 innings. What happened to the guy that had no control of emotions nor his fastball, was getting into fights with nice guys like Derrek Lee, and was looking like the Cubs’ version of Oliver Perez?

Speaking of Perez, why not just start using him in games like this? The Mets have no chance at a playoff spot at this point, and you’re paying the guy, so may as well use him.

Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4 and Ike Davis had two hits, including a wind-blown homer.

Ruben Tejada is red-hot — he collected another single, and has now hit in 4 of his last 6 games. He’s 5 for his last 15, rocketing his batting average to .181. If he can keep this up a little longer, he will threaten to reach the Mendoza Line. Additionally, Tejada’s fielding resembles that of Mario Mendoza, one of the legendary “good-hit, no-field” shortstops. He made one excellent play in the hole that demonstrated his superior arm strength. If only he could play both the shortstop and second base positions simultaneously, the Mets would really have something.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series occurs on Sunday at 2:20 PM EST. Jonathon Niese faces Ryan Dempster.

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Mets Trade Jeff Francoeur to Rangers

According to various sources, the Mets have traded Jeff Francoeur to the Texas Rangers for middle infielder Joaquin Arias.

Jeff Francoeur ended his Mets career as their cleanup hitter. There’s something wrong with that, isn’t there? Though, it is in line with the Mets starting their season with Mike Jacobs in that lineup spot.

So in the end, the Mets ultimately turned Lastings Milledge into Joaquin Arias. Well, at least Arias was once traded for Alex Rodriguez.

With Arias on the club, how the heck are the Mets going to find at-bats for Luis Hernandez?

In other news, the Mets announced that Lucas Duda and Jenrry Mejia have been promoted to the big club.

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Profile on Jenrry Mejia in Baseball America

Baseball America has a great evaluation of Jenrry Mejia, written by Ben Badler who watched him pitch in Arizona.

Hat tip to FireJerryManuel.

According to Badler, Mejia’s fastball ranged from 90-95 MPH and touched 96.

His fastball is a swing-and-miss offering, not just because of its velocity but because of its outstanding movement. Mejia generates tremendous cutting action on his fastball, and he’ll also put some sink on his heater as well. Between the velocity and movement, Mejia has a pitch he can use as an out pitch or to induce grounders—71 percent of his outs on balls in play were groundouts during the minor league season.

It’s not all roses for Mejia in the Fall League, however. Badler also notes that the top Mets prospect has had major issues with control, walking 11 in 11 1/3 IP. Scouts the league agree that Mejia needs to find more consistent command of his fastball, and develop his offspeed pitches.

Mejia’s current coach in Arizona, Tom Phelps, had this to say about his repertoire:

“He has a fastball that will cut, and he also has a fastball that will sink. As long as he keeps it down in the zone, he gets a lot of ground balls and a lot of early outs and quick innings. The big thing for him is controlling it in the zone and not getting behind hitters and walking hitters.”

“When he just throws it and doesn’t try to overthrow it, he’s got a good curveball,” Phelps said. “It looks like his heater, he’s got good deception and it’s got some quick break to it. Also his better secondary pitch is his changeup. His changeup has a lot of depth, has real good arm speed and looks like his fastball. He’s got the pitches to complement (his fastball), it’s just a matter of him being able to control it in the zone and keeping it down in the zone.”

It sounds like Mejia is a legit prospect, but is also at least a year or two away. In fact all the comments about his command and offspeed stuff remind me of Mike Pelfrey when he was 22 and rushed into MLB. Mejia just turned 20, and I see no reason to push him up the ladder. Let the kid develop — and let HIM force the issue, much like Doc Gooden did back in 1984.

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