Jenrry Mejia has been a good starter for the New York Mets this season. Well, at least through four or five innings; after that he implodes.
Mejia’s most infamous start this season was against the Colorado Rockies where he gave up 8 runs to blow a 6 – 0 lead until Terry Collins decided to cease the torture. Since then, Mejia’s longevity on the mound is being questioned and now there is talk of Mejia being exiled to the bullpen.
Not many people doubt Mejia’s potential as a starter, but many also know he can barely go half a game without collapsing. In Mejia’s last three starts, he’s posted an ERA of 10.67, giving up 16 runs and leading some to believe that Mejia’s ability is more suitable for the bullpen. If Mejia were put into the bullpen, it could help the Mets patch a hole by giving them a reliable reliever. After all, the amount of innings a reliever pitches is usually one or two, so surely Mejia could hold up there.
More importantly, it would also open up a spot in the rotation for a competent pitcher. With that said, who could replace Mejia? To answer this, let’s look at a few pitching prospects.
Traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Mets in 2012, Syndergaard proved to be a potential asset. Quickly moving through Double-A with the Birmingham Mets to Triple-A with the Las Vegas 51s, Syndergaard caught many off guard. He carries an ERA of 3.92 in 43 innings pitched, which is more than any pitcher on the 51s this season. He also leads the 51s in strikeouts with 46. However, he has surrendered the second-most walks with 15 and is tied with Logan Verrett for the most earned runs with 19, though these stats are likely a consequence of pitching the most innings.
Signed with the Mets in 2011, Montero rushed through the minor leagues much like Syndergaard. In fact, Montero’s stats stack well against Syndergaard’s. Montero boasts an ERA of 3.67, which is slightly lower than Syndergaard’s. As for other areas, there are no great differences, except for hits given. Montero’s hits stand at 30 while Syndergaard’s hits stand at 48. The lack of baserunners can benefit the defense greatly.
deGrom was drafted by the Mets in 2010, and after having Tommy John surgery, he recovered and busted into Triple-A in 2013. What is impressive about deGrom is his ERA of 2.58 in 38 innings pitched. Although he struck out far less players than Montero and Syndergaard with 29, which may or may not signal trouble depending on circumstances. The lack of strikeouts could mean deGrom relies more on his defense to get through innings.
It is hard to say which guy is best suited to take over for Mejia, but there is more to it than comparing ERAs. What will ultimately determine which prospect succeeds in the starting rotation is longevity, because with that terrible bullpen, the Mets will need starters that can last until they patch up the rest of the holes with decent relievers.