LAKELAND, Fla. -- Jenrry Mejia beamed after appearing in his first Grapefruit League game in two weeks. He had more to celebrate than his return from inaction after a thyroid issue.
“Now I’ve got my cutter back,” the 23-year-old right-hander said.
New York Mets
Ever since returning from Tommy John surgery early last season, Mejia had seemed to lose the sharp cutting action on his fastball, which once had drawn comparisons to Mariano Rivera’s movement.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen determined Mejia had started to throw too overhand since returning from surgery. So Warthen worked with Mejia over the past week, since Mejia returned from a thyroid issue, to restore a three-quarters arm angle and reinvigorate the cutter.
“I threw too on top,” Mejia said.
The modification appeared to work. Not only was the cutting action better Monday, but Mejia also added velocity.
“Today is a lot more,” Mejia said about the cutting action, “and my velocity is back. You see 96 and 94 and 95?”
Mejia, who is ticketed for the Triple-A rotation to open the season, knew the velocity readings because he checked the scoreboard.
“Because I want to know,” he said. “Before I threw not normal.”
Said catcher Anthony Recker, who caught the sixth inning as well as Mejia’s bullpen sessions throughout camp: “His arm is down a little bit more and he definitely has that cut action back on his fastball. There was some life on it, too. It was coming out real good.”