Tag: Jenrry Mejia

Jenrry Mejia to Appeal Lifetime Ban from MLB: Comments, Reaction

New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia announced Friday he will appeal his lifetime ban from Major League Baseball.   

Mejia’s lawyer, Vincent White, told reporters, per Nathaniel Vinton of the New York Daily News, that his client “feels he has no choice but to fight” the permanent suspension he received in February for failing three performance-enhancing drug tests. 

In Vinton’s report, White said MLB used “dirty cop tactics” and “claims to have spoken with several witnesses, one of whom…accuses MLB of hacking players’ online accounts.”

Mejia said through an interpreter during the press conference, per Vinton’s report, he wants “to clear [his] name.” He added he was “not here to accuse anyone or hurt anyone” during the appeals process. 

MLB provided a statement on Mejia’s comments and pending appeal:

On March 4, per Ben Berkon of the New York Times, Mejia claimed that MLB threatened to orchestrate his third positive drug test if he appealed his 162-game ban last year: “I felt there was a conspiracy against me. I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.”

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney denied the allegations, telling Berkon, “no one at MLB or representing MLB has met with Mejia regarding any of these drug violations.”

Mejia also told Berkon the MLB Players Association “should have done more” to help him by finding “something to appeal for.” White told Berkon this situation is “a collective bargaining issue, this is a labor issue, this is an employer who we see perhaps overstepping.”

Last April, MLB announced Mejia’s 80-game suspension after he failed a test for Stanozolol. He returned to the big leagues on July 12, pitching in just seven games before a second positive drug test left him suspended for 162 games. 

Mejia did not appeal the second suspension, which would have made him eligible to return in July 2016 before the most recent failed drug test made him the first player to be permanently banned under MLB’s joint drug agreement. He is eligible to apply for reinstatement after one year. 

Signed out of the Dominican Republic at age 17, Mejia has spent parts of five seasons with the Mets. He was the team’s closer in 2014, recording 28 saves and 98 strikeouts in 63 games. 

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Jenrry Mejia Comments on Failed Drug Tests, Lifetime Ban from MLB

Jenrry Mejia, who became the first player to receive a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for performance-enhancing drug use during his time with the New York Mets, stated Thursday he believes league officials conspired against him.

Ben Berkon of the New York Times passed along comments the relief pitcher made about the situation through an interpreter. He said MLB officials pressured him after the second failed test and requested information about his “doping connections.”

Mejia said that baseball officials told him that if he appealed the punishment for the second doping offense, “they will find a way to find a third positive,” Mejia said through an interpreter. “I felt there was a conspiracy against me. I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.”

He also felt let down by the MLB Players Association, adding it “should have been there to defend me—because that’s what they’re there for. They should have found something to appeal for.”

League spokesman Pat Courtney told the New York Times the conversations Mejia alludes to never took place.

“No one at MLB or representing MLB has met with Mejia regarding any of these drug violations,” he said

Although it’s considered a permanent suspension, Mejia can apply for reinstatement next year.

Adam Rubin of ESPN.com noted the reliever can ask Commissioner Rob Manfred for a chance to return. If he does get reinstated, though, he must sit out two years before he’s allowed to pitch again. If the request is denied, he can appeal to an arbitrator to make a ruling.

Mejia made 113 appearances (18 starts) for the Mets since the start of 2010. He posted a 3.68 ERA and 1.48 WHIP with 162 strikeouts in 183.1 innings. He pitched 7.1 scoreless innings in between suspensions last season.

The 26-year-old Dominican Republic native has retained lawyer Vincent White, who explained to the New York Times they are considering their legal options.

“For us, this is a collective bargaining issue, this is a labor issue, this is an employer who we see perhaps overstepping,” White said. 

Meanwhile, the Mets have started preparing for the new season without Mejia. The final bullpen spots will be filled after a crowded battle throughout spring training.  


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Jenrry Mejia Permanently Suspended by MLB: Latest Details and Reaction

New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia received a permanent suspension from Major League Baseball on Friday after his third performance-enhancing drug violation.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post passed along the news and noted the latest failed test was for Boldenone.

John Thorn, the official historian for Major League Baseball, confirmed Mejia joins former Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose as the only living players banned from the game.

Adam Rubin of ESPN.com provided the Mets’ reaction:

“I’m going to appeal, Mejia told Dominican reporter Hector Gomez in Spanish, per Rubin. Lose or win, I have great faith. I have to clear my name. I will take this case to the ultimate consequences. It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

Mejia received all three suspensions over the past year. MLB originally suspended him for 80 games in April. Less than a month after returning to action, he received a 162-game ban following his second positive test in July.

Anthony Rieber of Newsday noted Mejia claimed after the first PED suspension that he had “no idea” how a banned substance ended up in his system.

The 26-year-old reliever had been an asset for New York on the field. He posted a 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 183.1 innings across 113 career appearances, including 18 starts. He didn’t give up any runs in seven games between suspensions last season.

He would have been eligible to return around the midway point of the 2016 season after serving the full-season suspension. Instead, he’s banned permanently.

The Mets bullpen shouldn’t suffer a major drop-off without him. The group ranked 11th in the big leagues with a 3.48 ERA last season despite his limited contributions. Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed and Antonio Bastardo are likely to handle the high-leverage situations.

With that said, it’s hard to understand how a promising career could come to such a sudden halt in a 10-month span.


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New York Mets 2011, Let the Fire Sale Begin: 5 Moves to Make Now

This point may be moot, due to a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme (I’m still rooting for a, “Bernie Madoff Made off with My Team’s Payroll and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” promotional day) but if there is a choice for the Mets between going for it or rebuilding, they should rebuild.

In fact, the Mets should have started the rebuilding process at least a season ago, when their roster was a combination of a few expensive top level talents, backup catchers and nothing else. Instead, then GM Omar Minaya decided the best way to keep his job was to double down, sign Jason Bay and hope for the best. It didn’t work. Now there’s a new regime in town left to deal with a bloated payroll and the juggernaut that will be the Phillies. Here are five moves the Mets should make as soon as possible.

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New York Mets: Jenrry Mejia, Oliver Perez and K-Rod in Caribbean Winter Leagues

New York Mets top pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia tops the list of a dozen players on the team’s 40-man roster getting some offseason work in the Caribbean Winter Leagues.

Joining Mejia in the warmer climates is left-handed headcase Oliver Perez, second-round Rule 5 Draft pick Pedro Beato, prospects Armando Rodriguez and Manuel Alvarez and veteran closer K-Rod.

Here’s a brief update to look at what these six pitchers have been up to in the Caribbean.

Also be sure to check out James Stewart-Meudt’s article on how possible second base options Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and Brad Emaus are performing in the Winter Leagues here.

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New York Mets Prospect Jenrry Mejia Strong in Dominican, Oliver Perez Struggles

New York Mets pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia scattered two hits while walking one and striking out four over three shutout innings for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League on Friday.

The 21-year-old, making his second start of the fall, fanned three Aguilas batters in the first inning, working around a one-out double followed by a walk, and he recorded three ground ball outs in the second frame to set down the side despite an error by veteran first baseman Wily Mo Pena.

Mejia surrendered a double to Hector Luna, who finished 5-for-6 with three RBIs, in the top of the third frame, but got Edwin Encarnacion to ground out to short and Kevin Barker to fly out to center to complete his outing.

The start was much sharper than his first appearance last Sunday—his first game since being sidelined with shoulder problems in September—in which he gave up a pair of runs on three hits and three walks over 2.1 innings to Escogido.

ESPN’s Adriano Torres reported that Mejia got up to 96 mph on his fastball and that Licey pitching coach Guy Conti was impressed with his progress and poise.

Mejia, who was 0-4 in 33 appearances with the Mets in 2010, will likely start the 2011 season in Triple-A Buffalo where he will be further stretched out as a staring pitcher.

In nine starts across four Minor League levels last year with the Gulf Coast Mets, St. Lucie, Binghamton and Buffalo,  the right-hander went 2-0 with a 1.28 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 42.1 inning. He also threw a complete game shutout for the B-Mets in the Eastern League.

But while Mejia continues to make a positive impression on members of the Mets Minor League field staff, the same cannot be said for headcase Oliver Perez who, unfortunately, is likely to play a much bigger role in the early stages of next season at the Major League level.

Perez faced just one above the minimum over the first three frames in his start for the Tomateros de Culiacan in the Mexican League on Friday night before imploding in the middle innings.

He yielded back-to-back two-out homers in the fourth inning and then gave up a leadoff double in the fifth that came around to score to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Perez recorded two outs in the sixth but was unable to finish his start on a high note, walking first baseman Japhet Amador and surrendering a single to No. 7 hitter Mario Valenzuela. Both baserunners would come around to score.

The final line on Perez read six earned runs on six hits with two walks, three strikeouts and two home runs over 5.2 innings.

The loss was the southpaw’s second in a row and he now sports a 5.73 ERA over nine appearances.

Perez was hit-and-miss in his first two starts and even though he struck out eight and walked six over a combined 10 innings, he kept putting up zeros.

Things have not been as smooth in his last two outings, where he has allowed 15 baserunners nine runs in seven innings.

Perez obviously still has some things he needs to work on throughout the winter and hopefully he will be able to respond next Wednesday with a more positive performance.

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Carlos Santana, Brandon Webb and Other Potential Sleepers

The 2010 baseball season has come and gone.  To those who won your fantasy leagues, congratulations.  And to those who did not win, well, there’s always next year, right?

If you are part of that latter group, you may want to pay close attention here.  The following slides should give you a leg up on the rest of the competition.  

Sleeper picks are always handy to have in your back pocket because you can pull them out at just about any time in your draft, leaving the rest of the league thinking “Aw man, I forgot about him!”  Sleeper picks can be comprised of players who were injured for the majority of the previous season, or just had an off year and will likely fall down the ranks of many fantasy leagues while looking for a bounce-back season.

So here are my 2011 Fantasy Baseball sleeper picks.

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Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Have The Mets Mishandled Jenrry Mejia?

There’s a lot of debate on how teams should handle young starting pitchers.  Is it a good idea to get their feet wet in a Major League bullpen? 

There is history of the idea working well, but you don’t have to look further then Joba Chamberlain to find detractors of the philosophy.

While that wasn’t the only issue with the way Chamberlain was handled, it certainly was a factor.  That’s why it was interesting to see the debate rage on with the Yankees cross-town rivals in 2010, as the Mets debated on how they should handle Jenrry Mejia

Did they want to use him in the Major League bullpen or did he have more long-term value in the minor leagues, working as a starting pitcher?

They opted to give him a taste of the Major Leagues, starting him in the bullpen where he had mixed results (3.25 ERA over 27.2 innings). 

By the end of June the team decided to send him back to the minor leagues and stretch him back out as a starting pitcher. 

He looked great in nine starts (42.1 innings), pitching across four levels to the tune of a 1.28 ERA and 45 Ks.  Unfortunately, two separate arm injuries put a damper on his success. 

He suffered from a strained rotator cuff while being stretched out at Double-A, and then when he was recalled to the Major Leagues to join the starting rotation in September, he again strained a muscle in his shoulder, ending his season prematurely.

Were the injuries caused by his lack of work over the first two plus months of the season?  It’s impossible to answer that question, but you had better be sure that skeptics will point to that as the cause.

Either way, you have to think that his days of being considered for the bullpen are behind him.  If he breaks camp with the Mets as part of the rotation or not is a different question, but that will be determined by the offseason moves of new General Manager Sandy Alderson. 

At 21 years old, Mejia certainly will be one of the candidates for a spot.

He didn’t impress in September, posting a 7.94 ERA in three starts (11.1 innings).  During that time he had five strikeouts and five walks, though one of those starts did come against the Phillies.

Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked Mejia as the Mets top prospect saying:

“Mejia’s fastball ranges from 90-96 mph, and it hit 98 on a handful of occasions in 2009. He’s able to maintain his velocity late into games, and his fastball has so much cutting and sinking action that it befuddles hitters. He induces a lot of groundouts and broken bats.

“They’re asking me if it’s a slider,” said Josh Thole, who caught Mejia with Binghamton. “I said, ‘It’s 94 (mph), guys. I don’t think that’s a slider.’ ” Mejia’s changeup is a plus pitch at times, resembling a splitter with its 81-84 velocity and drop.”

The problem is that his slider, which is his third pitch, still needs more work.  That’s one of the reasons why he needed innings in the minor leagues and his time spent in the Majors may have stunted his growth.

During his minor league career, he’s posted a 2.68 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 8.8 K/9.  He has an electric fastball and has the stuff to develop into a tremendous option for both the Mets and fantasy owners, but he needs time to develop. 

The Mets would be best served to start him in the minor leagues again in 2011 and let him continue to get innings under his belt.  He hasn’t even thrown 250 professional innings since being signed out of the Dominican Republic.

Those in deeper leagues can draft him to stash him for the second half, but chances are he’s still a year or two away from making a fantasy impact.

What are your thoughts on Mejia?  Should he open 2011 with the Major League club?  Could he make an impact in 2011?

Make sure to check out our other Prospect Reports as we wrap up 2010 and head towards 2011:


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Jenrry Mejia To Start For New York Mets: It’s Late, But It’s the Right Move

Finally. It is about time that the Mets’ front office did something right this season.

After inexplicably having Jenrry Mejia start the season on the Mets’ major league roster as a reliever, the situation has finally been fixed. Mejia is a starter, and he will be able to help the Mets in the future in that capacity.

As talented as Mejia is, he never should have been with a major league team if he was going to pitch out of the bullpen. There is no denying that Mejia posted very strong numbers and was an important piece of the bullpen while the Mets were still in contention.

However, this definitely stunted his growth as a starter this year. Mejia was only able to make nine starts this season, and they all came in the minor leagues. He has thrown just 42.3 innings as a starter. This is about a third of what he could have done if he had been starting all season. This is a lot of lost development time.

While he has had only nine starts this year, they have been dominant performances. Across four levels (rookie ball, high-A, AA, and AAA) Mejia has posted a 1.28 ERA with 1.06 WHIP and a 9.6 K/9 rate.

These numbers suggest that Mejia is definitely ready to be in the major leagues.

Hopefully, the Mets will use the starts that Mejia makes in September to continue his development. There is no…(to read the rest click on the link below)

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New York Mets Give Jenrry Mejia His First Major League Start

CHICAGO— It’s that time of year in Major League Baseball. Teams who are no longer in the race get a good look at what their future holds. For the Mets, it’s no different.

Alive only mathematically in the NL playoff race, they will start a young pitcher for the first time in his career. 20-year-old Jenrry Mejia will get the call this afternoon, after impressing during his past three Minor League starts.

In six starts for Double-A Binghamton, Mejia went 2-0 with an outstanding ERA of 1.32. His last start was an extremely impressive one for Triple-A Buffalo. In eight innings, he allowed one run on five hits. He walked one—issued in the eighth inning—and struck out nine.

He hit close to 100 miles per hour on the gun and looked ready to be called up to replace Pat Misch in the Mets rotation. Afterall, it’s not Misch who’ll be vying for a spot in next year’s rotation, but it’s the 20-year-old flamethrower.

It’s not as if Mejia hasn’t had any big league experience. He did make the team out of spring training, and pitched in 30 games out of the bullpen early in the season. He wasn’t bad, pitching to a 3.25 ERA, but his walks were an issue. He walked 15 batters in 27.2 innings, coming out to one every 1.8 innings pitched.

While in Binghamton, he virtually pitched to the same walks per innings pitched ratio (27.1 IP, 14 walks). His last start in Triple-A was the biggest sign of his young career that perhaps he’s gaining more control of the strike zone.

Mejia will most likely make his final five starts of the season for the Mets, unless he’s absolutely terrible. When he makes the start tomorrow, he’ll become the youngest Met pitcher to start a game since Dwight Gooden.

Opposing Mejia for the Cubs will be the hot-headed Carlos Zambrano. He was suspended by the Cubs without pay for a while earlier in the season for a dugout tirade.

After six stellar seasons in Chicago, Zambrano’s career has gone south. From 2003-2008, he went 91-51, and looked like a Hall of Fame-type ace. Emotional problems have gotten the best of him over the past couple of seasons to slow him down, although he still is only 29-years-old.

The Cubs brought him back on July 31 and inserted him into the bullpen to make three relief outings. Since reclaiming his starters role, he has been dominant. Over his last five starts, he’s gone 3-0 with an ERA of only 1.84.

His last start came against the Pirates on Monday, a game the Cubs won, 14-2. He earned his third straight win, pitching 5.1 innings. He allowed an unearned run on four hits, and struck out seven.

The Mets offense came to life yesterday, scoring six or more runs for the first time in 10 games. Their luck is, of course, that it was in a loss.

But, they did have many positive signs, especially from the bat of David Wright. He went 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs batted in, falling a triple shy of the cycle. He’s two home runs and 10 RBI away from his fifth 25-home run, 100-RBI season.

Angel Pagan in his first start back from a wrist injury, recorded three hits as well, and rookie Lucas Duda got his first Major League hit on an RBI double. All in all, the offense was not a problem on a day R.A. Dickey just couldn’t beat the Wrigley Field wind.

They’ll hope to see positive things from their rookie pitcher today, looking to even the series with the Cubs.

Jenrry Mejia this season (30 games in relief)
0-2, 3.25 ERA, 27.2 IP, 29 hits, 15 BB, 17 SO

Carlos Zambrano vs. New York (April 20)
Loss, 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 hits, 3 BB, 9 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Chicago)
April 19: New York 6, Chicago 1
April 20: New York 4, Chicago 0
April 21: Chicago 9, New York 3
April 22: New York 5, Chicago 2

Sept. 3: Chicago 7, New York 6
Mets lead series 3-2

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