With the bullpen sputtering and the losses starting to pile up, the New York Mets are making moves and trying to fix their problems before they fall too far behind in the competitive NL East. The Mets’ latest move will be to send Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen while promoting prospect Rafael Montero to make the start on Wednesday against the New York Yankees and join the starting rotation. This is the right move to make.
Montero is more than ready to make his big-league debut. He’s a polished pitcher who’s proven he can handle triple-A hitters, and it would be wasteful to keep him in the minor leagues. He’s not the most talented of the Mets’ top pitching prospects, but he’s the most ready to join the Mets’ rotation. Moving Mejia to the bullpen after three rough starts only makes sense if the Mets have someone to take his place, and with Montero they have just that.
As for Mejia, he’s been given a chance to prove that he can remain a starter long term, but with his size, the effort in his delivery and his inability to go deep into games and get hitters out the third time through a lineup, it’s becoming clear that he’s better suited to be in the bullpen. Considering the Mets’ issues in the bullpen and the fact that they’re relying on aging veterans approaching the end of their careers like Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth, they need Mejia in the bullpen. He could be incredibly effective in short outings if he can make the adjustment to pitching in relief.
If the Mets could, it would be nice to give Mejia another couple of starts to see if he can work through his struggles and get back on track. But with the team losing, the Mets can’t afford to wait. Montero is ready and there’s no reason to wait, which is why moving Montero to the rotation and Mejia to the bullpen is the right move for the Mets.