Mets' Jenrry Mejia leaves start with shoulder strain

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Uh oh.

According to SNY, via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Mets youngster Jenrry Mejia was lifted from his Wednesday start against the Pirates due to an acute strain of the muscle in the back of his right shoulder.”

Mejia is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday morning at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery and is likely to be shut down for the rest of the 2010 season.  He had a similar shoulder injury while pitching in the minors earlier this year.

The 20-year-old Dominican is a promising young starter and is expected to land a gig in the Mets’ rotation next season.  He turned in a 4.62 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and 22/20 K/BB ratio over 39 big-league frames this year.  Control is something that he will work on this winter, once his shoulder is back to full health.

Mejia had plans to pitch for Licey in the Dominican Winter League.  It seems likely that the Mets will cancel those plans.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.