Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Mejia: 'I'm ready' for three in a row
By Danny Knobler | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- Jenrry Mejia had no problem getting a six-out save. The bigger question is how often he can handle getting three outs.
In the two-plus weeks since Mejia moved to the bullpen, New York Mets manager Terry Collins has only once used him on back-to-back days (and once in both ends of a doubleheader). Collins said he wouldn't use Mejia in Wednesday's afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, understandable because Mejia needed 37 pitches to get through his two-inning save Tuesday night.
But if Mejia is to be a true closer, he'll need to be able to go back-to-back regularly, and even to pitch on three consecutive days.
"I'm not sure in his mind he thinks he can go three in a row [yet]," Collins said.
Mejia, who initially resisted the move to the bullpen because of concerns about staying healthy, said his arm has responded well. So well, in fact, that he says he wouldn't have any reservations about going three in a row.
"I think I can do it," he said. "I'm ready for it."
So, it seems, is his manager.
"As soon as I have the lead three days in a row in the ninth inning, I'd think about it," Collins said. "Hopefully that can be soon."
Six outs is rare: Before Tuesday, the Mets hadn't had a six-out save from a regular closer since Aaron Heilman did it in 2005, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.