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Daily Notes: A Brief Review of Jenrry Mejia’s Season Debut

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. A Brief Review of Jenrry Mejia’s Season Debut
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

A Brief Review of Jenrry Mejia’s Season Debut
Introduction
Formerly a top prospect in the Mets system, right-hander Jenrry Mejia threw 39.0 generally ineffective innings for New York in 2010 (as a 20-year-old) before undergoing Tommy John surgery in May of the next year. Rehab prepared him for a September call-up last season (2012), during which interval, despite sitting at 93-95 with his fastball, he struggled once again. After beginning the present season on the disabled list with forearm tendinitis, the Dominican made his debut with High-A St. Lucie in mid-May. Still just 23, Mejia returned to the majors on Friday night to face Washington.

Mejia’s Results
Both Mejia’s defense-independent and actual, real-live numbers were excellent on Friday. The right-hander recorded a 7:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio against 27 batters over 7.0 innings, posting a 70% ground-ball rate and 1.25 xFIP for the game — all en route to conceding zero runs (box).

Mejia’s Pitches
As Mets PITCHf/x enthusiast Josh Smolow indicated via Twitter last night, MLB’s Gameday system has no little difficulty in classifying Mejia’s different pitches. Ignoring said classifications, but looking merely at the chart below (featuring speed and horizontal movement), it appears as though Mejia threw four pitches, predominantly — his fastball (which naturally features cut-like movement) at 92-95 mph; a changeup at 85-90 mph; a slider (of which there’s some consideration below) at about 82-87 mph; and then a slower curve, at 79-82 mph.

mEJIA rEPERTOIRE

Mejia’s New Slider
As Smolow also noted via Twitter, the slider that Mejia threw on Friday night was entirely absent from his repertoire as recently as last September. The following two charts reveal the difference. The red circle more or less represents the range of movement of Mejia’s slider from Friday. Placing that circle over the same exact area from his 2012 PITCHf/x chart, one finds almost nothing there.

Mejia Slider Animated

Action Footage: Mejia’s Slider
Here’s footage of Mejia’s new slider — in this case, at 86 mph to strike out Ryan Zimmerman in the sixth inning:

Mejia Zimmerman SL SS K New

Action Footage: Mejia’s Slider, More Slowly
Here’s that same exact pitch, only in more slower motion:

Mejia Zimmerman SL SS K New Slow

Action Footage: Mejia’s Curve, For Reference
And, by way of reference, here’s Mejia curve, at 82 mph, from earlier in that same Zimmerman plate appearance. Mejia has thrown this pitch more regularly in the past.

Mejia Zimmerman CU SS

Credit to Brooks Baseball for some of the PITCHf/x data here.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Texas at Cleveland | 19:05 ET
In what appears to be the most impressive pitching matchup of the day, Yu Darvish (125.2 IP, 70 xFIP-, 3.2 WAR) faces Justin Masterson (142.1 IP, 83 xFIP-, 2.7 WAR). Returning from the disabled list in his most recent start (for shoulder fatigue, was the ultimate diagnosis) Darvish’s fastball averaged 93.8 mph — or, roughly what it has been for the majority of the season (excluding the game that directly preceded his DL stint).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Texas Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.7.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Chris Archer TB 4 10 6 3 8 NYA Ivan Nova 13:05
Dallas Keuchel HOU 6 3 6 7 7 TOR Josh Johnson 13:07
Garrett Richards LAA 8 7 6 6 4 OAK Tommy Milone 15:05
Dillon Gee NYN 5 6 5 2 6 WAS Dan Haren 15:05
Joe Kelly* STL 6 4 6 8 7 ATL Julio Teheran 15:05
Samuel Deduno MIN 2 2 3 5 4 SEA Aaron Harang 16:10
Ryan Dempster BOS 3 8 4 8 3 BAL Scott Feldman 19:05
Yu Darvish TEX 10 4 8 7 8 CLE Justin Masterson 19:05
Raul Valdes* PHI 6 1 7 7 10 DET Max Scherzer 19:08
Wade Davis KC 5 6 7 2 10 CHA Chris Sale 19:10
Charlie Morton PIT 5 7 5 1 5 MIA Tom Koehler 19:10
Tom Gorzelanny MIL 6 4 6 7 5 COL Collin McHugh* 20:10
Andrew Cashner SD 6 6 6 2 8 AZ Tyler Skaggs 20:10
Chris Rusin* CHN 5 4 6 6 7 SF M. Bumgarner 21:05
Bronson Arroyo CIN 4 3 5 3 6 LAN Hyun-Jin Ryu 21:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.