Just an hour after blowing a save in the Mets 7-6 loss to the Phillies, Jenrry Mejia admitted to reporters that he has been pitching with a hernia the past three weeks. Despite the pain, the ailing Mets closer told reporters that he plans to delay surgery in hopes of finishing out the 2014 season.
Despite his struggles this past week, Mejia has been great for the Mets this season in the closer role. He has converted 17 of 20 save opportunities and in 36 innings of relief, the 24-year-old righty has pitched to a 2.25 ERA. Last night, Mejia was held out of a save opportunity because of tender calf muscle.
"It’s a little bit difficult because when I was in the beginning of the season everything is good, normal," Mejia told Mike Vorkunov of the Star Ledger. "Right now my leg is tight, my back, got a little bit hernia. I gotta keep going. I don’t want to stop for the season. I want to keep going. I want to keep pitching."
He later told ESPN's Adam Rubin, "The doctor said if that bothers me too much, let him know and they're going to fix it," Mejia said. "I want to keep pitching and have the full season and then have the operation."
Some are concerned that pitching through the injury is not in the best interest of the team or Mejia going forward. Former Met reliever and club house favorite Tim Byrdak tweeted the following today.
Mejia has struggled in his last four outings, allowing at least two hits in each appearance and taking two losses. Though he is pitching on medication for the pain, the argument for him to rest is well founded. Last season, Mets reliever Scott Rice pitched in 10 games with a similar injury, only to require season ending surgery on September 10th.
Of the situation Terry Collins said, "All I can tell you is they say he’s fine to pitch. He says he’s fine to pitch. Now he’s got a hernia. If he tells me it bothers him then we’ll make adjustments.”
This news came just hours after rookie standout Jacob de Grom was scratched from his next start due to lingering shoulder soreness following his last start in Washington. While he did not seem overly concerned, it was a rough day for the Mets on all fronts.