It’s a young man’s game now and Jenry Mejia is a young man with a good arm. Sure, he’s only pitched 7 innings so far this spring to a 1.23 ERA. But he’s looked good doing it. I’m not buying into the hype about Mejia. It’s a simple equation. The Mets are built to win now and Mejia can help them do that. It’s that simple.
You may think that the Mets would take Mejia north next month because Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya are trying to save their jobs. They’re not looking out for the kid. They don’t care about his future. There may be something to that, I don’t know. But if you read Ken Rosenthal’s column today on Fox Sports, it sure seems that way according to Rosenthal.
To get back to where I started this post, baseball isn’t a game for 35+ year-old players anymore. The worm turned with the MLB 2003 steroid report and testing for steroids and amphetamines. It’s back to being a young man’s game again and we have to face that fact and this new reality. Dwight Gooden made the team and won 17 games as a rookie when he was 19 years-old. Mejia is 20 years-old and he’s not Dwight Gooden, but if he wins a spot on the roster this spring we need to accept this new reality. The funny thing is that the new reality is the old reality.
Baseball is a game for 20-35 year-old’s now. Francisco Rodriguez made his debut at 20 years-old and lit the world on fire with five postseason wins that year for the World Series champion Angels. He only pitched in five regular season games but he was ready for the spotlight at 20. It can be done without damaging a players future.
Another argument that I’ve heard against Mejia making the team is that he’s always been a starter, he won’t make the adjustment to the bullpen. My opinion is that the age of specialization that we’re in is completely overrated. A pitcher wants to pitch. There’s no reason to think that Mejia can’t make the adjustment, and possibly be more successful as a reliever than he ever would have been as a starter. I don’t buy this argument at all.
If it doesn’t look like Mejia is ready for the Mets they can always send him back to Buffalo to work out the kinks in his game. The only things the Mets have lost is that they started the clock on his major league service time.