|The late Nino Espinosa would be proud that Jennry Mejia is in the Mets rotation. What else would he be proud of?|
John Lannan imagined himself as the Mets' fifth starter in 2014, but got an "oh, no" from his bosses. Similarly, Daisuke Matsuzaka pressed his luck for the spot, but all he got was a whammy.
The race to fill the fifth slot in Mets starting rotation is now over, as Jenrry Mejia has locked up the coveted role, pushing Dice-K off the 25-man roster and sending Lannan to the bullpen.
The news of Mejia's inclusion in the rotation comes four years after former manager Jerry Manuel made a foolish comparison between Mejia and Mariano Rivera, then rushed the then-20-year-old to the majors, only to see the promising right-hander wilt under the big league spotlight. Poor performances and a magnetic attraction to injuries kept Mejia to 55 innings pitched at the major league level from 2010 to 2012, before a late-season call-up in 2013 showed what he was capable of when not rushed into service by a gangsta manager who was clearly wearing the wrong prescription glasses.
Mejia started five games for the Mets in 2013, posting a solid 2.30 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His 27-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio was a significant improvement from what Mejia accomplished in his previous stints with the team (30 strikeouts, 29 walks in 55 innings).
Daisuke Matsuzaka could potentially be brought back to start for Jonathon Niese if the disabled lefty can't make his scheduled start on April 6, but that's still up in the air. One thing that isn't is Jenrry Mejia's status with the Mets. For the second time in five seasons, Mejia has made the team out of spring training. He wasn't ready for the big show in 2010. Now with four extra years of minor league seasoning, Mejia has his health (mostly) and his outstanding repertoire intact.
It will be quite interesting to see if the former top pitching prospect can became a mainstay in the Mets rotation. He's certainly earned the right to do so.