Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jenrry Mejia suspended 80 games, Mets need to move on

As seen on 

Jenrry Mejia did the Mets a huge disservice and now New York has to make sure the reliever never hurts them again, ever.

Unlike their crosstown rivals who are in the pits for $61 million to keep steroid cheat and liar Alex Rodriguez around the clubhouse, the Mets do not have to suffer the same fate.  When word came down that Mejia was going to be suspended 80 games for using Stanozolol, a banned substance that will not only cost him most of the season, but also the playoffs, the first thing that came to mind was pretty simple: cut him.
Financially, Mejia only counts $2.60 million this year, and has no long-term contract hanging over the franchise. They have nothing to lose by sending the sternest message any major league team could possibly make in the post steroid era.

Whether he did it with full knowledge of what he was putting into his body or not, the fact remains Mejia was selfish in either regard. If he didn’t know what he was drinking, eating or injecting he should have asked the Mets training staff, or even the Players Union for guidance before ever taking anything. There are steps in place now where players can make sure that when they take a certain medication it won’t come back positive for steroids later.

Mejia didn’t do that, so we have to assume he knew what he was doing.

David Wright was correct when he said: “You’re letting down your teammates, and that probably means just as much if not more than hurting yourself.”

The Mets are now without a closer for the forcible future. The guy who stepped up big time last season and nailed down 28 games is now gone, creating a hole in the Mets pen. 

That being said all is not lost. At the beginning of spring training I wrote an article that Jeurys Familia could be the Mets best option to close down games for the Mets this season. He has a tremendous fastball, is very difficult to hit from either side of the plate, and was big in big spots last year.  One of the earmarks of a closer is to have a short memory and incredible intestinal fortitude. I think Familia has that.

If Familia takes the roll and makes it his own, why should the Mets give the closer’s job back to Mejia when he does return? In fact this makes Mejia expendable.

In addition, the Mets are going to get Vic Black and Bobby Parnell back by the end of the month. While Parnell has never been automatic in the ninth inning, he could be serviceable as a seventh or eighth inning man moving forward. Vic Black has potential to be a closer one-day himself.

The return of Parnell and Black also allows Terry Collins to move Rafael Montero into the starting rotation where he belongs.  In other words, unlike a lot of teams, the Mets have options in the bullpen. They can withstand this kind of blow.

The Mets should not let this episode hang over them. Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins: do the right thing, and let Mejia go.

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