Yet another blow to the already hurting New York Mets bullpen happened yesterday as closer Jenrry Mejia was suspended 80 games without pay for testing positive for Stanozolol. Mejia is the fourth major league pitcher to be caught using the PEDs in the past two weeks.
Mejia was key piece of the Mets team going into the 2015 season, and this suspension will no doubt have a large impact on how the team performs. With Josh Edgin out for the year, Bobby Parnell not scheduled to return until the end of April, and Vic Black not looking close to returning, the Mets bullpen is now more of a weakness than an asset.
Mets captain David Wright was clearly disappointed with Mejia’s behavior and agreed with the decision made by major league baseball. “As much as it hurts, as much as we love Jenrry as a teammate, when you make a mistake, you’re going to be punished,” said Wright. Wright also made it clear that Mejia was hurting the team as a whole with his actions.
Mejia’s reaction to the situation is a bit more confusing. Through the player’s union, Mejia released the statement, “I know the rules are the rules, and I will accept my punishment, but I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.” How was Mejia unaware of a banned substance being in his body? Nobody except Mejia can answer that question. Perhaps Mets manager Terry Collins put it best when asked about Mejia’s comment, “I know what goes in mine. I can’t answer for everybody.”
Looking forward, it is clear that Jeurys Familia will have to play the part of closer until the awaited return of Bobby Parnell. The Mets are looking inward to fix the broken bullpen, and they might find answers in the minor leagues. However, as it stands now, there is a dark cloud over the Mets bullpen and it will take a lot of stepping up in order to make the bullpen shine bright again.