UPDATE BY Matt M., 8/19:
If Jacob deGrom was auditioning for a MLB roster spot last night with Jenrry Mejia now on the disabled list, he did a good job against the Salt Lake Bees. The right-hander didn’t factor in the decision, but took a perfect game into the sixth inning for his third straight quality start. He ended up allowing two runs on two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts in six innings pitched for the 51s.
It will be interesting to see whether or not deGrom gets a start or two at the big league level sometime this season. He would need to be added to the 40-man to do so, and he’s likely nearing an innings limit. After tossing 111.1 innings in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, the product of Stetson University has thrown 140.2 frames in 2013 between three levels of the minor leagues. The Mets normally have an organization-wide innings limit at around 30 innings more than the prior season, and deGrom is currently sitting at that limit.
Whether he gets a chance in the majors this season or not, he’s definitely made some noise throughout the organization. Baseball America wrote an article about him being on the precipice of the major leagues, and Keith Law identified him as a sleeper on twitter:
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) August 19, 2013
He may be a sleeper, but his 2013 season has definitely made people associated with the Mets wake up.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE, 8/18:
If you were watching last night’s game, you saw Jenrry Mejia depart the game with discomfort in his throwing elbow — and you also saw my heart break. I’ve recently become very pleased with Mejia and have even thrown around the idea of him being part of the 2014 rotation, but I know he has to have surgery to clean up bone chips in his elbow. I hope the Mets act swiftly and try to get any and all procedures done now so he has an appropriate amount of time to rehab for next season.
For safety reasons, I do hope they shut Mejia down for the rest of the season. On many occasions, I have stated that I felt this is a lost season and the Mets should act as such — refusing to trade Byrd was a big mistake. Shutting down Mejia would jeopardize attempts to win down the line, but that’s not a high price to pay in mid-August when the team is still under .500.
The auto-pilot response to Mejia’s replacement would be Greg Burke, which would likely push Carlos Torres into the rotation for the Mets if they decide to do so. However, if they really want to start pushing this youth movement, they could DFA a guy like…well, Greg Burke off their 40-man and add one Jacob deGrom. DeGrom’s electric fastball has brought him pretty decent success this year. The numbers look a little rough, but DeGrom has turned in some spectacular performances this year, and has recently found success in Triple-A Las Vegas with two quality starts in a row — and six out of his last ten have been quality starts as well.
DeGrom can be utilized as a bullpen arm or a starter for the Mets, and I don’t mind DFAing a guy like Greg Burke because frankly, you know what you’ll be getting from him at this point. If you want to make a true step towards the future, you start shedding guys like Burke and rolling the dice on deGrom, who could be potentially better down the line. DeGrom has to be added to the 40-man this off-season anyway to be protected from the Rule V draft, so why not now?
DeGrom takes the mound for the Las Vegas 51s tonight.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)