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.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.