Yesterday I praised the Mets for making what seemed to be a wise long-term decision for the organization in sending Jenrry Mejia down to the minors to be transformed back into a starting pitcher. The only reservation I had over the move was if the team decided to only send him down for a short time and call him back up to start for the Mets before he had a chance to really master his arsenal and learn to get hitters out multiple times a game.
According to the New York Post, however, the Mets may be doing something even worse than that:
The source said if a decision is reached to make Mejia a starter it
wouldn’t necessarily involve a trip to the minor leagues, as the Mets
might choose to let the right-hander “stretch out” at the major league
level as Joba Chamberlain did with the Yankees two years ago.
Because turning Chamberlain into a starter at the major league level worked out so well for everyone.
This source could be wrong and the Mets may very well end up sending Mejia down, but I’m going to hold off praising the Mets over anything unless and until they show us that they can make even a single move that is in the organization’s long term best interests as opposed to lurching from quick fix to quick fix.
If this report is accurate, however, the Mets appear to be poised to wreck a promising pitching prospect, and that’s simply unacceptable.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.