Here's how nuts it's gotten, and keep in mind right off the bat that I consider myself in the camp of caution, of sending him to the minors and letting him work on secondary pitches to come up as a starter rather than keeping him up this season to be a situational/short/set-up reliever: There's a Facebook page organizing a protest to keep Mejia in the minors, which will set itself up outside the SNY studios hoping to be seen on Loudmouths or whatever show's path it happens to cross. Think about that for a second: Imagine there was a protest on live television to keep you from getting a promotion at work. How would you feel? Even if it was organized with your best interests at heart ... what kind of blow to the ego would that be?
Good thing nobody cares about your job that much, eh?
Here's the way I see it: You can compare Mejia to anybody you want who has gone from starter to reliever: John Smoltz did it, and did it well. What I would have liked about the transition if Smoltz wasn't a Brave was how he understood the art of throwing breaking stuff with more ferocity. Smoltz was throwing a 92 mph splitter. That isn't fair.
But it takes a veteran like Smoltz circa 2001-2004 to understand that. Jenrry Mejia, I'm guessing, knows nothing of what's between zero and sixty. Thus, he has more to learn.
Then there's one Mr. Chamberlain and his silly rules. Similar debates rage on about Chamberlain and where his role is best suited. The fear with Mejia is that he'll be treated with the same kid gloves that lightly tapped Chamberlain and his role is going to go back and forth depending on which managerial or front office job he needs to save that day. So his path needs to be straight and not circular (like the change up he may need to learn).
(You know what's weird, usually the manager plays veterans to save his job, not bring up rookies. As usual with the Mets, the circumstances are all cockeyed.)
Obviously, Chamberlain has been more dominant as a reliever than a starter. One could argue that a mediocre starter proves more valuable than a lights out set-up guy (see: Oliver Perez's contract), but Mejia at least deserves the chance to show that he could actually be more than just a mediocre starter before we have this debate. Sure, the bullpen has holes (cough ... Sean Green ... cough), but the rotation is a doughnut. And yes, John Maine's fastball had some movement and it actually struck out Albert Pujols on Thursday (though the pitch was a ball), but I stand by the statement. Fill a bullpen hole for a season which is going to be an uphill climb anyway with a raw rookie, or fill a rotation hole for ten years with a seasoned prospect? You decide.
Then there's Bobby Parnell, who to me is a poster child for rushing your prospects as the Mets have done too often under this regime. He too, had an eye opening spring. He then went from the sixth to the seventh to the eighth inning. Then he fell apart. Not to say Mejia isn't going to fall apart at some point in his major league career, but wouldn't you want him to be fully prepared when that meltdown comes? Somebody who has pitched 44 (and a third) innings above A-ball in his life can't possibly be prepared. Hell, who knows if he's prepared for Friday night's fan boycott???
If you're still confused by all this, Glenn Beck explains it all on this blackboard: