Jenrry Mejia has won the fifth starter job for the Mets, one of the more gutsy calls by Sandy Alderson.
Mets Blog reports that Alderson confirmed on Saturday that Mejia got the job and Daisuke Matsuzaka will begin the season in the minors. That was the assumption after the Mets paid Matsuzaka the $100,000 retention bonus earlier this week, but it was not official until today.
Dice-K had a decent spring, but Jenrry Mejia rightfully won the job with a better camp, and he obviously has far more upside at this stage in their respective careers.
It would have been safer to go with Dice-K; after all, he is a veteran. And that is usually Alderson’s way. But this time he decided to take a chance with the youngster, albeit with Matsuzaka waiting in the wings in Las Vegas.
If anything, this is an opportunity to build Jenrry Mejia’s trade value. The Mets have lots of young pitching in the pipeline and if Mejia can prove to be a major league-ready pitcher, perhaps he can be dealt at some point to fill one of the team’s massive holes.
Mejia, by the way, had to leave Friday night’s exhibition game against the Blue Jays after getting hit in the arm by a comebacker. X-rays were negative for a broken bone.