The words “elbow” and “discomfort” are never positive when used together to describe a Major League pitcher, but they are being pieced together around New York Mets starter Jenrry Mejia on Saturday night.
Mejia was forced to leave his start against the Padres in the 4th inning, and the team is using elbow discomfort as the early diagnosis. Unfortunately, this isn’t a huge surprise for Mejia, as it was already public knowledge that he would be having off-season surgery to correct bone spurs in his right (pitching) elbow.
However, Mejia has been lights-out since joining the New York rotation, and the team was hoping to get a full-length look at him heading into 2014. In 5 starts (including Saturday’s shortened outing), Mejia has a 2.30 ERA with a solid strikeout rate of 8.89 K/9, and a tiny walk rate of 1.32 BB/9 that indicate that his success could be sustainable.
At just 23 years old, Mejia has the chance to jump into the conversation for the “rotation of the future” with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, but that progress will likely be placed on hold. It is too early to predict a season-ending shutdown for Mejia on the heels of this early exit, but with the Mets firmly out of the race, it would be borderline irresponsible to throw him out there if there is any serious concern. Stay tuned.