NY Sports Dog: Mejia's Spring Numbers - Truly Amazin', or a Mirage?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mejia's Spring Numbers - Truly Amazin', or a Mirage?

New post from NY Sports Dog contributor Andy the Lawyer:

Jenrry Mejia may very well turn into the second coming of Mariano Rivera, but its hard to see how the Mets brass has settled on that prognosis for him based on just Spring Training.  Its true that Mejia has been very effective thus far (10 IP, 1.69 ERA, .184 average against), but if that sample size is enough to conclude that someone will be a great relief pitcher, the Mets are already in great shape.  Look at all the relief "studs" that the Mets already have (based on Spring training numbers):

  • Pat Misch:  10 IP, 0.90 ERA, .182 average against
  • Elmer Dessens: 5.1 IP, 1.69 ERA, .238 average against
  • Nelson Figueroa: 8.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, .143 average against
  • Hisanori Takahashi:8.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, .138 average against

Considering that Feliciano and K-Rod are locks to make the team, and given that its pretty likely that one or more of Parnell, Green, Nieve, or Igarashi will be allowed to stick around through April, why is it so important to convert Mejia into a reliever?  Seems pretty clear tht there are 4 other Mets pitchers who are pitching just as effectively as Mejia, and none of them have the potential to be ace starting pitchers, or are only 20 years old.  Are the Mets planning on using an 8 or 9 man bullpen to start the season?

The point is that Spring training numbers do not matter - but even if they did, the Mets should be just as happy to have any of these 4 guys pitching for the big club as Mejia, and simply let Mejia keep working on his command and secondary stuff in the minors.

Moreover, having Mejia work on being a starting pitcher in the minors is much more likely to pay dividends for the Mets - even this year - as not one of Pelfrey, Perez, or Maine has had a particularly impressive spring.  The Mets may need a reliable starting pitcher to add to the rotation in July much more than they need a 6th inning reliever in April.
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