Adam Rubin is reporting that 20-year old Jennry Mejia is headed back to the minors to stretch his arm out in hopes of giving the Mets another starting pitching option.
Though Mejia has pitched well, there is something clasically wrong about taking a top starting prospect and using him in meaningless relief games in April and May.
Mejia is currently 12th in all of MLB in appearances.
The Mets should have a new starting pitching option within a month.
Top prospect Jenrry Mejia, whose dazzling Grapefruit League performance prompted the Mets to place him on the Opening Day roster as a reliever, is expected to head to the minors to resume being used as a starting pitcher. That could be timed with R.A. Dickey’s activation before Wednesday’s start, a team source told ESPNNewYork.com.
The decision is believed to have been affirmed during Monday’s meeting at Turner Field that included chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, GM Omar Minaya, assistant GM John Ricco and manager Jerry Manuel.
The Mets could be facing major rotation issues behind Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey, so stretching out Mejia for starting work makes sense. Oliver Perez has been dispatched to the bullpen, John Maine -- while largely producing of late -- doesn’t have the zip he had in 2007 and Jon Niese has a mild right hamstring strain. The Mets will have Dickey face the Washington Nationals on Wednesday and use Hisanori Takahashi in place of Niese on Friday.
It will take Mejia some time to be ready to return to the majors in a starting capacity. It should, in fact, be comparable to a spring-training build-up, when a pitcher throws two innings, then three innings and so on until he’s up to a 90-100 pitch count.
Mejia is 0-2 with a 2.60 ERA, with 14 strikeouts and eight walks, in 17 1/3 innings spanning 18 major league appearances.