The Return of the Forgotten Man, Jenrry Meija

Jenrry MeijaNot much has gone right for Jenrry Meija since Jerry Manual convinced Omar Minaya he would be a useful bullpen piece for the Mets at the tender age of 20 in 2010. Meija showed flashes that year but did not ultimately succeed, and he ended up back in the minors starting games. Soon after came elbow problems that have haunted him since. These days when fans rattle off their future dream rotation the names you hear are Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, and Syndergaard. Jenrry Meija has become the forgotten man. Yet here is Meija standing upright again. Maybe he can jam his name back into the conversation.

The Mets announced on Tuesday that Meija would be coming up Friday to make one of the starts in that day’s doubleheader with the Nationals. It so happens that Matt Harvey is making the other start, just like he did on June 18th versus Atlanta. But this time SNY is not counting down to the day as an event, in fact, no one is hyping Friday at all. It’s just another day on the schedule. That’s all understandable, it feels like a lifetime since Meija made his first appearance with the Mets, and Jenrry has a “washed-up” feel about him already. Then you look Meija up and he is 23 years old, same as Wheeler, even after all that has transpired. Meija is not arbitration eligible until 2016, not able to become a free agent until 2019. He has a small enough body of baseball work since 2010 that we cannot get too excited. But interested? I sure am.

Meija also will be a reminder to all of us why the acronym TINSTAAPP was coined. Jenrry was once one of the top-rated prospects in all of baseball. It’s a cautionary tale for people who are discussing the Mets 2016 rotation like we are waiting for a cake to finish cooling. Chances are better than good that some of our top pitching prospects will not work out. In fact, it’s almost a guarantee. That’s why I never play that game, I do not discuss baseball rotations too far out. There are way too many variables.

Those variables are not always negative. Everyone raise your hand if you knew R.A. Dickey would be a Cy Young award winner. How about Dillon Gee, solid major league starter? Or Jeremy Hefner, as a back-end starter. Pitching can be difficult to predict in all directions. That’s why Friday is a little more than one more “Harvey Day,” as great as they are. Jenrry Meija is back in the majors for a day.

Let’s see if he can get us thinking about him again.

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  1. For two consecutive years, this guy was our #1 prospect in the organization. High hopes. Then the wheels fell off. It’s a long and sordid story. But I’m here to say: clean slate. It’s a new day. I look forward to seeing how he fares. However, at the end of the day, I’m with Jerry: He’s always looked like a reliever to me.

  2. Eric says:

    Young guy…mid and high 90’s….throws strikes… NEVER saw him put away a batter. So, that’s either learned or innate, but I don’t get the excitement about a pitcher UNTIL he can end 2 strike ab’s with a K or a weak/defensive out.

    • I agree, but it’s early yet. I think Wheeler is having a similar problem. He’s getting K’s off the fastball, but the curve isn’t cutting it yet. I think it will come for Wheeler. For Meija, I don’t know. I guess my only point is that you need more than one go-to pitch in order to get strikeouts. Fastballs alone won’t cut it.

  3. It’s possible that they’re showcasing him for a possible trade, if he looks healthy and his arm looks “live.” His minor league numbers this year certainly look decent enough, and he’s young enough for another team to certainly express some interest in him. That could be the best case scenario here.

  4. Eric says:

    Agree Jim.

    Wheeler’s two strike counts are too often 2-2. 3-2….weaker Pitching counts. Good Pitchers thrive in 0-2 and 1-2 counts…they END at bats. Harvey has a “way” and a mentality to attack those counts. It’s not only about strike outs, but Strikeout Stuff PLUS attack does get you lot’s of strikeouts and weak outs.

    The 92 Slider out of the zone….. the high rider Fast Ball…. The Low outside Paint… Just Throwing a 96 “someplace” (Hello Pelfry and Parnell) won’t do it.

  5. Michael Geus says:

    Well, I’m sure thinking about Meija again.

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