As Mejia was warming up to make his season debut, he could not get his arm loose due to soreness in his throwing elbow. His trip to the bullpen changed to a trip to the clubhouse.
Mets officials noted this is a new injury for Mejia. He felt tenderness in the arm before the game, but still attempted to warm up.
Buddy Carlyle came into the game, instead of Mejia, to earn his first career save and send the Mets to another Opening Day victory.
Mejia is scheduled to fly from D.C. to New York on Tuesday to be examined by team doctor Dr. David Altcheck and undergo an MRI.
This would be the second year in a row the Mets would lose their closer in the season opener if Mejia heads to the DL or worse.
Last season, Bobby Parnell suffered from a torn MCL in his right elbow ending his season early with Tommy John surgery. He’s expected to be out for the beginning of 2015.
Mejia received Tommy John surgery back in 2011 where he suffered a complete tear in the MCL in his right elbow.
Bullpen coach Ricky Bones was also Mejia’s pitching coach the year he tore the MCL in Triple-A Buffalo. According to ESPN, he said Mejia had a similarly painful expression warming up on Monday.
If Mejia goes on the disabled list, general manager Sandy Alderson said the team would remain with eight relievers, meaning someone will be brought up from Triple-A.
The call-up could possibly go to right-hander Zack Thornton who has a 3.26 ERA in the minor leagues. Alderson mentioned Parnell and reliever Vic Black are not on the radar to return Sunday when they are initially eligible.
Familia and Torres pitched 1-2-3 innings in their regular season debuts, which is a promising start for the Mets out of the bullpen.
Familia has shown a lot of progress in his three years in the Major Leagues. Last year he earned a 2.21 ERA with five saves.
It seems that the Mets bullpen should be able to hold it together for the time being. With the return of veteran closer Parnell in sight, the loss of Mejia could at least be replaceable mid-season.
The Mets were able to hold off their division rival the Washington Nationals in a 3-1 Opening Day victory without their starting closer.
However, this is just another example of the injury plague sweeping over the Mets and if it can end, the team can be in good shape for the rest of the season.