People who I totally forgot about since last season: Mets’ pitcher Jenrry Mejia. Who, once upon a time, was mentioned in every Mets trade rumor around, but who then had his season derailed with Tommy John surgery last May.
Well, he’s on the mend and, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, is scheduled to return to the mound today for the first time since his surgery. Of course, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so he’ll only throw 15 pitches from the front of the mound.
Before his surgery last season Mejia posted a 2.86 ERA and 21/14 K/BB ratio over his first four starts with Triple-A Buffalo, and in five minor league seasons has struck out 271 batters in 280 innings. He’s still only 22 years-old, so there’s every reason to believe that he remains a big part of the Mets’ future.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”