PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though Jenrry Mejia believes he is healthy enough to compete for a big league roster spot right now, the young right-hander is still several steps away from even considering a jump back to live competition.
Nine months removed from Tommy John surgery, Mejia has thrown off flat ground just twice this spring, and has not yet attempted to throw off a mound. The Mets are moving cautiously with a pitcher who, as recently as last spring, ranked among the organization's top overall prospects.
"I know I can't make the big league team right now because I'm coming off Tommy John," Mejia said after reporting to camp on Monday. "But I have to be ready for it."
In the interim, Mejia has fallen behind the power trio of Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Zack Wheeler, all of whom sit perched among the top pitching prospects in baseball. But Mejia still hopes to return to the big leagues at some point this season, even if it is not until late summer.
"I've been working hard for it," Mejia said. "But it's too soon."