In a perfect world, every starting pitcher throws a complete game shutout. In a less perfect, but still pretty impressive, world, starting pitchers go seven innings and teams have two sure thing relievers for the eighth and ninth innings. And with Jenrry Mejia scheduled to return to the team in a matter of weeks, the Mets might be getting closer to that (no pun intended).
In April, when Mejia was suspended 80 games for testing positive for stanozolol, Jeurys Familia became the de facto closer, and he's flourished in that role. In 30 games this year, Familia has 19 saves and a 1.39 ERA, including a number of four- and five-out saves. Manager Terry Collins has repeatedly said that Familia will remain the team's closer when Mejia returns on July 7, but that's not to say that Mejia won't have a role in the bullpen.
"When he comes back, he'll certainly be at the back end of that bullpen and ready to help out." Collins told the New York Daily News.
Mejia started last season in the Mets' rotation but pitched much better after a move to the bullpen. He recorded 28 saves in 56 appearances with a 2.72 ERA as a relief pitcher. He underwent surgery for a sports hernia in the offseason and suffered elbow inflammation during spring training before his suspension.
So far this season, the Mets bullpen has been one of the best in the majors with a 2.84 ERA. That's despite injuries to Jerry Blevins, Buddy Carlyle, Josh Edgin, Eric Goeddel, and Rafael Montero. Carlos Torres has been less than stellar with a 4.40 ERA, and Alex Torres's walk rate is troubling. Even with the return of Bobby Parnell from Tommy John surgery, the bullpen could use Mejia.