Archive for the ‘Jenrry Mejia’ Category

Pitching, Pitching, & More Pitching

October 4, 2011

Jose Reyes will dominate the discussion in terms of 2012 roster decisions for the New York Mets.  He’s one of the most exciting players in all of baseball, so it’s easy to understand.

The problem is, the shortstop position should not be the focus of the organization.  The starting rotation should be.  The Mets could re-sign Jose Reyes, successfully convert Ike Davis into a gold glove center fielder, sign Prince Fielder and they still wouldn’t make the playoffs with their current rotation.  I may be exaggerating a tad, but you get the point.

Besides, their offense isn’t the problem.  The Mets were sixth in the National League in runs scored (718).  That’s five runs better than the Phillies.

The 2011 Mets’ starting rotation sported a woeful 4.11 ERA.  There were nine teams better in the National League in this particular area, including all four playoff teams.  As it stands, the rotation has no legitimate ace, a number two or three guy in Johan (due to injury and age), a number three guy in Dickey, and a collection of #4 or #5 guys at best.

Mike Pelfrey (career 4.40 ERA) and Chris Capuano (career 4.39 ERA) need to go.  To put it simply, they are not part of the solution.

Jon Niese and Dillon Gee still have yet to prove they are worth holding on to, but I wouldn’t be upset if the Mets want to give them both another chance in 2012.  Part of me thinks Niese doesn’t have the stamina or strength to make it as a starter and the Mets need to consider moving him to the bullpen. Right now, his 4.20 ERA in 2010 and his 4.40 ERA this season place him alongside Big Pelf and Cap.

Back to Jose for a second. For those of you new to Midwestropolitan (shame on you for not joining us earlier), I am not saying I don’t want Jose to remain a Met.  As a fan, I hold on to hope they can figure out a way to re-sign him and fix the rotation at the same time.  The realist in me knows that is a tall order.

The bottom line is we should keep an eye on what the front office does with the rotation.  It will tell us a lot about whether or not they truly believe they can contend in 2012.  If there isn’t much turnover, it means they are willing to sacrifice 2012 to give Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler time to develop with hopes that any and all of them form a strong young core in 2013.

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Double Turds!

May 2, 2011

“Double Turds!”- Spalding

“Spalding!”- Judge Smails

My reaction to the news that Jenrry Mejia is likely to have Tommy John surgery to repair his torn MCL in his right elbow.

I didn’t even know we had an MCL in our elbows…..

Hump Day Thoughts

February 24, 2011

TAKE IT EASY TC

“[Davis] is going to become one of the premier first basemen in all of baseball. He’s already as good defensively as there is in either league. He has absolutely enormous power, and I think he’s going to learn to be a better hitter and therefore a little more selective hitter. He’s going to get better pitches to hit, and he’s going to do a lot of damage. I can see Ike Davis in the future being that certainly legitimate number four hitter.”

Like many others, I am a fan of Terry Collins’ passion and excitement. However, comments like the one above can lead to unrealistic expectations. It is one thing to believe in a player, it is entirely different to proclaim a guy is the next coming of Lou Gehrig.

Ike is coming up on his first full season. There will still be a few hurdles for him to leap.

“His range to his right is incredible, and those left-handed first basemen, the [Will] Clarks and some of those guys, that’s what they did,” Collins said. “That just changes the whole defense of the infield. The second baseman can play up the middle, and it changes the whole dynamics of how they play.”

This is more like it. It is extremely complimentary but doesn’t go too far. Not to mention it is pretty insightful in terms of the overall impact on the defense.

COURAGEOUS

Rich Coutinho shared on MetsBlog that TC politely dealt with a fan venting about the team’s lack of power.

These types of fans amaze me. I admire their courage, no matter how misguided it is.

Note to courageous fan: The team’s alleged lack of power isn’t really something the manager can control. This is more of an issue that you should address with the Wilpons or Mr. Alderson.

However, kudos to you sir or ma’am. If I was fortunate enough to be at spring training I freely admit I wouldn’t have the stones to confront the manager about an issue with the team.

It is far more likely I would utter some sort of uncomfortable greeting and maybe muster up the guts to shake his hand. Maybe.

I am content to voice my opinions hidden quite nicely behind my laptop hundreds of miles away.

BEATING A DEAD HORSE

Today, Terry Collins commented on whether or not he would have used Jenrry Mejia in the bullpen last year. It is my assumption that someone asked him his opinion on the matter. Why else would he bring it up?

A question to the media: What is the point of continually kicking Jerry and Omar now that 2010 is far removed from our rear view mirror?

Move on people. It is clear to all that this was a mistake.

As I have said in the past, I probably would have done the same thing if I were in Jerry’s shoes. Put things in perspective. If you were fighting for your job would you not do anything in your power to try to win? The front office is as much to blame as Jerry was. They should have put their foot down at the very beginning of this poor idea.

Let’s stop writing about 2010, please.

UPDATE (2/24): TC’s actual comments verifying he was prompted to comment on this subject.

“You’re putting me on the spot, aren’t you?” Collins replied Wednesday. “Well, I understood exactly what happened last year. I certainly don’t blame the decision that was made. I will never second-guess that decision.”
“I, in turn, as the guy on the other side of the field, in the development side, from what I had heard, thought he should go start [in the minors].”

“They made the decision, which they thought was right for them. I’ll certainly back it up and support it. But everybody I have talked to on the other side [at the minor league complex], who are good baseball people, think this guy has got a chance to be a top-of-the-order starting pitcher. So I’m going to give him his chance.”

TAKE IT EASY TC

“[Davis] is going to become one of the premier first basemen in all of baseball. He’s already as good defensively as there is in either league. He has absolutely enormous power, and I think he’s going to learn to be a better hitter and therefore a little more selective hitter. He’s going to get better pitches to hit, and he’s going to do a lot of damage. I can see Ike Davis in the future being that certainly legitimate number four hitter.”

Like many others, I am a fan of Terry Collins’ passion and excitement. However, comments like the one above can lead to unrealistic expectations. It is one thing to believe in a player, it is entirely different to proclaim a guy is the next coming of Lou Gehrig.

Ike is coming up on his first full season. There will still be a few hurdles for him to leap.

“His range to his right is incredible, and those left-handed first basemen, the [Will] Clarks and some of those guys, that’s what they did,” Collins said. “That just changes the whole defense of the infield. The second baseman can play up the middle, and it changes the whole dynamics of how they play.”

This is more like it. It is extremely complimentary but doesn’t go too far. Not to mention it is pretty insightful in terms of the overall impact on the defense.

COURAGEOUS

Rich Coutinho shared on MetsBlog that TC politely dealt with a fan venting about the team’s lack of power.

These types of fans amaze me. I admire their courage, no matter how misguided it is.

Note to courageous fan: The team’s alleged lack of power isn’t really something the manager can control. This is more of an issue that you should address with the Wilpons or Mr. Alderson.

However, kudos to you sir or ma’am. If I was fortunate enough to be at spring training I freely admit I wouldn’t have the stones to confront the manager about an issue with the team.

It is far more likely I would utter some sort of uncomfortable greeting and maybe muster up the guts to shake his hand. Maybe.

I am content to voice my opinions hidden quite nicely behind my laptop hundreds of miles away.

BEATING A DEAD HORSE

Today, Terry Collins commented on whether or not he would have used Jenrry Mejia in the bullpen last year. It is my assumption that someone asked him his opinion on the matter. Why else would he bring it up?

A question to the media: What is the point of continually kicking Jerry and Omar now that 2010 is far removed from our rear view mirror?

Move on people. It is clear to all that this was a mistake.

As I have said in the past, I probably would have done the same thing if I were in Jerry’s shoes. Put things in perspective. If you were fighting for your job would you not do anything in your power to try to win? The front office is as much to blame as Jerry was. They should have put their foot down at the very beginning of this poor idea.

Let’s stop writing about 2010, please.

UPDATE (2/24): TC’s actual comments verifying he was prompted to comment on this subject.

“You’re putting me on the spot, aren’t you?” Collins replied Wednesday. “Well, I understood exactly what happened last year. I certainly don’t blame the decision that was made. I will never second-guess that decision.”
“I, in turn, as the guy on the other side of the field, in the development side, from what I had heard, thought he should go start [in the minors].”

“They made the decision, which they thought was right for them. I’ll certainly back it up and support it. But everybody I have talked to on the other side [at the minor league complex], who are good baseball people, think this guy has got a chance to be a top-of-the-order starting pitcher. So I’m going to give him his chance.”

Another Example Of Organizational Indecisiveness

July 10, 2010

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but I still don’t buy the reasoning for Reyes batting second in the lineup.

In essence the Mets are trying to bench Reyes but yet play him at the same time.

It is yet another example of how the Mets can be organizationally indecisive.  Here are a few other examples of organizational indecisiveness that comes to mind:

1. The handling of Carlos Beltran’s injury.

Should he have surgery? Should he not have surgery? Oh wait, I guess he did have surgery. We didn’t approve it. We did approve it.

2. The handling of Oliver Perez and John Maine.

These two pitchers have been given an abundance of opportunities to establish themselves as big league starters. Many other organizations would have cut ties with both of them a long time ago. Not the Mets. They are both on the horizon of returning. Or are they?

3. The handling of Jennry Mejia.

Mejia is needed in the bullpen and is crucial to its success. Let’s only pitch him during non-critical situations. On second thought, let’s send him down to develop as a starter.

Back to the latest head scratcher.

Jerry Manuel believes by batting Reyes second you bring more things in to play for the hurting Reyes. For example, if Pagan gets on, Jose can bunt for a hit.

Why can’t he bunt for a hit from the lead off spot?

If he is also considering sacrificing Pagan over, Cora or Tejada are perfectly capable of accomplishing that task. The advantage with them doing it is Jose is not jeopardizing his health.

Reyes is also refraining from sliding head first. So now, not only is he refraining from batting left handed, but he also has to make an unnatural adjustment in a split second when on the base paths.

This whole situation makes me wonder who is in control. I remember the first game Jerry Manuel managed after Willie Randolph was fired.

The Mets were facing the Anaheim Angels (or whatever they were called back then). Reyes came up a bit lame running out a ground ball and Manuel decided to pull him.

Reyes was visibly upset and wouldn’t leave the field at first. Manuel stuck to his guns and had a “heart to heart” with Jose in the clubhouse. I was impressed with how decisive Jerry was in a difficult situation. What has happened since then?

Fellow editor and the Yoda of our staff, Tom Greenhalgh, made a great point last night when he stated “Manage your players. Don’t let them manage you.”

How much of these “Reyes Rules” are Jose’s idea and how much are Manuel’s?

It might be hard to believe, but there is a silver lining to this history of hesitancy by the Mets organization.

It is a sign of a group of people trying too hard. They find themselves in these situations because they try to take the best pieces from two different options and turn it into one. Unfortunately, this option isn’t the most realistic in most situations.

Look at it this way. At least they’re not like the Pirates organization. The last two owners they have had have made it perfectly clear they could care less about winning or the product on the field.

Originally published on Mets Gazette.

Off Day Observations: Jennry Mejia, Johan Santana, and More

June 21, 2010

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

I find that on off days I like to reevaluate where the Mets stand in the baseball world.

Even thought they haven’t played inspiring baseball in their last two games, the Mets have put themselves in a nice position this month.

They are 2.5 games behind the Braves in the East and are leading the Wild Card chase.

Wild Card Teams W L PCT GB E# L10 STRK
NY Mets 39 30 .565 - - 8-2 L2
LA Dodgers 38 30 .559 0.5 94 4-6 L3
San Francisco 38 30 .559 0.5 94 6-4 W1
Cincinnati 37 33 .529 2.5 91 3-7 L3
Philadelphia 35 32 .522 3.0 92 4-6 L2
Colorado 36 33 .522 3.0 91 6-4 L1

Honestly, how many of you truly thought they would be in this position on June 21st at the end of May?

I know the end of the Yankees series was disappointing, particularly offensively.  That being said, I don’t believe the Mets recent winning streak was an aberration.   I still feel confident about this team.

Expectations For The Upcoming Home Stand

There is cause for relief in the fact that the Mets will be returning to Citi Field where they own a 24-10 record.

The next six games will be no cake walk, however.  Detroit and Minnesota are a combined 78-59.  They are fighting each other for first place in the AL Central and have established themselves as perennial playoff contenders.

It is time my friends.  We need to raise our expectations a bit.

Based on the fact that the Amazin’s play outstanding at home and they are a confident bunch, I expect the Mets to go 4-2 on this home stand.

Jennry Mejia Down, Bobby Parnell Up

Last week,  I wrote about Mejia and how he was being developed on the major league roster.

Apparently, those lessons have been learned and the Mets have decided its time to lengthen him out and have him develop his secondary pitches in the minors.

Bobby Parnell will take his place even though he hasn’t exactly burned it up in Buffalo.  He comes to the Mets with a 4.24 ERA in 40.1 innings.

The Mejia situation is another example of why the Mets appear to be without a plan when it comes to certain situations.

Is this a case of Jerry Manuel holding on to him as long as he could until Omar Minaya finally said enough?

It’s not like Mejia’s role has changed over the last few weeks.  Why now?  A complete head scratcher in my book.

Here’s what everyone involved had to say on the matter:

Jennry Mejia
I’m going down, but I don’t have to put my head down, because I’m going to continue to work hard.  I don’t think they’re sending me down because I didn’t do my job.
Omar Minaya
He has a focus, he knows what he wants to do and he knows where he wants to get.  He sees himself as a starter down the line.
Jerry Manuel
We felt that the development and the progression had leveled off here.  It was a tremendous experience for him and he did everything we asked, but we felt to get him to the next level he needs to pitch on a regular basis and work on a regular basis.

What’s Going On With Johan?

I have to admit, I am  baffled on what to think about Johan Santana.

I am officially on the fence folks.

Normally, when I am in this spot my heart and my head are at odds with one another.

My heart wants to believe in Johan so it agrees with Jerry Manuel’s assessment,

He’s historically been a second-half pitcher. I think he’s starting to gear up for that.  That’s been his history, but I’ll take what he’s been giving us. I still see a guy that competes.

My head is telling me that Johan is starting to show signs of decline.

Normally, I try not to read other blogs while I am in the middle of writing a post.  I don’t want them to influence what I see.  My normal operating procedure has me reading other work when I am finished posting.

As far as the Johan situation is concerned, I deviated from the norm.  In this case, my heart was fighting with my head.  It was telling me to look for ways to explain Johan’s decline.

Instead,  I found an excellent post that actually summed up my head’s perspective.  Sorry heart.

Tom Greenhalgh from The (Happy?) Recap wrote yesterday how he no longer expects greatness when Johan takes the mound.  He just hopes for a win.

Santana’s fastball has lost velocity. Therefore when he throws his change up, the differential in speed is smaller. The result? Unless he has pinpoint control, swings and misses are far and few between. Couple that with the fact that he hasn’t been compensating for his lack of “stuff” with great control, and you get statistics like this:
In his last four starts, Johan Santana has struck out a grand total of ten batters.

If my head’s perspective is correct, than what is the cause?

Is it simply the fact that Santana is getting older?  Could it be that he is still not completely recovered from his surgery?

Will it be heart or will it be head?  Only the second half of the season will tell.

Midwestropolitan’s Take On Jennry Mejia

June 15, 2010

One of the few issues I have with the game of baseball, and all of professional sports for that matter, is the copy cat/unoriginal way teams handle situations.

Everyone wants to follow the leader.  Straying from the norm is hugely unsupported by fans.

Until it works.

Are the Mets truly hampering Jenrry Mejia’s development by keeping him in the bullpen?  That has been a question that has been asked countless times this season.

At the beginning of the season, Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya were challenged for their decision to use  Mejia in the bullpen rather than letting him learn how to be an effective starter.

The detractors all said it was a waste of his development and that they were mortgaging their future on futile wins in the present.

I’m not buying it.

I have yet to read any concrete evidence that what the Mets are doing will actually ruin Mejia’s future as a starter.   If he can help the team now, then keep him in the bullpen.  In fact, I contend that he is actually being developed in ways he could never be in the minors.

Before I get into how Mejia is being developed in the bullpen, let me take a second to remind everyone that he has been working with the Mets since he was seventeen.

Mejia has logged 210 innings in the minors already, which includes forty games as a starter.  Its not like the Mets just signed him and placed him in the bullpen.

Just because he is in the bullpen now, doesn’t  mean he will forgot everything he has learned in the last three seasons in the minors.

Now, on to why I think he is gaining extremely valuable experience with the major league club.

There is a huge difference between facing hitters in the minors versus facing hitters in the show.  There is a reason why these players have made it.  They are the best in the world.

The notion that Mejia is toiling away to nothing by being in the bullpen is absurd.  He has faced 122 major league hitters this season.  That is 122 more major league hitters than he would have faced in the minors.

Let us not forget some of the valuable things he is learning while on the big league roster.  On a daily basis, he has the opportunity to watch, learn, and listen to Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and Francisco Rodriguez.  Just by watching Johan’s preparation alone, he is gaining extremely valuable knowledge.

Mike Pelfrey’s confidence and competitiveness has to have made an impression on the young prospect.

He has also had an opportunity to watch how not to do things.

He has observed Oliver Perez’s selfishness, lack of focus, and me first attitude earn him a demotion to the bullpen as well as public enemy number one status to many Mets fans.

Mejia has witnessed John Maine’ struggles and surly attitude garner a quick hook from Jerry Manuel and Dan Warthen.

Speaking of Dan Warthen.  It is a fair assumption to make that he, along with other members of the coaching staff, work with Mejia on a regular basis.  The coaching staff doesn’t just hangout in the coaches office and then suit up for games.

They are constantly working with their pitchers as they throw on the side and make adjustments.  Sometimes it seems people forget about all of the work and preparation the players go though prior to the games.

Every time Mejia does side work, it is an opportunity to learn and get better.  He  has the luxury of doing this work with Dan Warthen, rather than the minor league coaching staff.

Everyone communicates differently, even if it is the same message.  Jennry doesn’t have to make the adjustment of learning how differently Dan Warthen communicates.  He has already learned that by now.

This may sound boring, but Mejia also has also been learning what the day-to-day schedule is like for a big-leaguer.  He understands the travel and all of the other details associated with it.

The public relations demands for major league players can be a distraction for younger players.  Mejia has built a foundation on how to handle these demands.  This will be extremely helpful if he becomes the great starting pitcher that everyone thinks he has the potential to be.

He is a part of the clubhouse culture and is learning how each player interacts with each other and where they fit in.  He bares witness to the circus that is the New York media as he watches players like David Wright and Jose Reyes handle their constant demands.

Being a successful major league baseball player is much more than just having the talent.  The talent part is a given for everyone on the roster.  The best players learn how to thrive in all of the non-baseball areas as well.

Jennry Mejia is most certainly developing with the Mets.  Not only is he learning how to get the best hitters in the world out, he is getting plenty of experience in the areas that don’t show up in the box score.

Reds 3, Mets 2

May 4, 2010

Why do I get the feeling this is going to be an up and down year?  With this loss to the Reds, the Mets find themselves on a three game losing streak.

It took eleven innings for the game to be decided on a Lance Nix home run off of Manny Acosta.

PITCHING:

Oliver Perez pitched well for the Mets allowing two runs in six innings.  His fastball was reaching the low nineties consistently and it looked like it had some bite to it.

Hopefully this is  a sign that Ollie is feeling good and is going to get on a roll.

Of course, we couldn’t have a game without the obligatory Met walk of a pitcher.  This occurred in the fifth inning as Ollie walked Mike Leake with one out.  He would eventually wind up scoring.

The bullpen was able to produce four shutout innings prior to the Nix home run thanks to Jenrry Mejia, Fernando Nieve, and Pedro Felciano. Nieve looked particularly impressive in his two innings of relief.

THE LUMBER:

The most positive sign was Jose Reyes‘ effort at the plate.  He went 2 for 5 with an RBI, and hit the ball well all night.

Luis Castillo and David Wright were able to produce two hits a piece as well.

Jeff Francoeur was responsible for the other Met run with an RBI single in the sixth inning.

OUTLOOK:

The Mets faced the Reds’ best pitcher so far in this season in Mike Leake.  He was impressive as he kept the ball down all night and didn’t make any huge mistakes.

The Mets have the chance to play .500 baseball on this road trip with wins in the next two games against the Reds.  They will need the bats to warm up and the pitching to repeat its performance from the first game of the series.

After three losses in a row, the Mets still find themselves only a half of game out of first place thanks to the Cardinals win over the Phillies.

John Maine will take the mound to face Bronson Arroyo Tuesday night.

More on Monday’s Game:

Check out what my blog brothers are saying about the first game of the series against the Reds:

Mets Today

Metsmerized

MetsBlog

The Real Dirty Mets Blog

Double Dip Turns Out To Be Pretty Sweet

April 28, 2010

David Wright

I don’t think Mets’ fans could have asked for a better result after Tuesday’s double header.  Two wins against the Dodgers, combined with a Philadelphia, loss catapults the Amazin’s into first place.

Game One (Mets 4, Dodgers 0)

Johan Santana battled the wind and pitched six innings of scoreless baseball.  The bullpen locked down the final three innings per their usual.

Offensively, we saw Jason Bay’s first home run as a Met that highlighted an eight hit day for the bats.

Game Two (Mets 10, Dodgers 5)

Bad Ollie was out for the night cap of the double header as he was unable to make it out of the fourth inning.  Perez was seemingly cruising until the wheels fell off in the fourth.  He gave up three walks in the inning including a four pitch pass  to Dodgers’ pitcher, Charlie Haeger.

Hisanori Takahashi  came in to save the day and dealt another 3.1 innings of solid relief, only allowing one run.  Mejia pitched a shutout inning and Raul Valdes gave up one run in the final inning of the game.

David Wright exploded with three hits, two of them of the opposite field variety.  He provided a two strike RBI single to put the Mets ahead 4-3.  He also drilled a three run triple to the right centerfield gap.  This hit sealed the game.

Ike Davis added his own three run double and Jason Bay added a triple as well.

Outlook

Out of nowhere, the Mets find themselves in first place.  This team is flat out dangerous when David Wright is hitting.  I don’t think it is coincidence that his breakout game occurred with opposite field hits.

I have been saying all season, that he appeared to be pressing.  Last night he took what the pitcher gave him, stayed on the ball, and had some great results.  Hopefully it can continue.

It will be interesting to see what  Jerry and Omar do with Oliver Perez if he continues to pitch this way.  We may find him in a John Maine spot, pitching to save his spot in the rotation.

Next up, the much maligned John Maine heads to the hill this afternoon to try to keep this current winning streak alive.


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