Mets’ Tylor Megill adds new pitch to search for rotation

PORT ST. LUCIE — Tylor Megill posted his latest pitch three times on Sunday, and while he was unmoved by the results, he took comfort in knowing he’ll have extra chances to work on it this spring.

The field is a cutter that shoots against left-handed batters. The Mets right-hander began exploring the cutter in the offseason with the idea that he would give left batters one more factor to consider before stretching across the plate against his four-seam tailing fastball .

“I was dying to add another weapon,” Megill said Sunday after playing three innings of shutout in the Mets’ 6-4 loss to the Cardinals at Clover Park.

Megill sat his fastball in the 95-97 mph range for this appearance, during which he allowed two hits and hit three with three walks.

A rookie last season, the 26-year-old helped stabilize a rotation desperate for weapons. Megill was strong for two months before a late-season dive — which may have stemmed from him scoring by far his most innings in a season in his career — sabotaged his numbers. Overall, he finished 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 starts. He pitched 130 innings combined in the minor leagues and major leagues. His all-time high was 71 ²/₃ innings in 2019.

Tylor Megil
Tylor Megill added a cutter to his pitching arsenal.

Megill averaged 94.6 mph with his fastball last season, using his slider and alternating the other two pitches he prominently featured, according to Statcast, according to Statcast.

The Mets have a full veteran rotation when everyone is healthy, but manager Buck Showalter and his staff are monitoring Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco, both of whom are returning from off-season surgery and may need extra time.

Megill and David Peterson are among the pitchers who serve as rotation insurance. Peterson pitched three innings Sunday and allowed four runs, including homers to Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt. If the Mets start the season with all five healthy starters, Megill and Peterson could be considered for the bullpen, but they’re more likely to start for Triple-A Syracuse.

“Obviously it stays in the back of my mind, but I can’t let that get to me,” Megill said. “At the end of the day there’s going to be a lot of pitching and there’s going to be a lot of need for guns, so I’ll always be ready and just keep working when my name is called.”

Megill quickly impressed Showalter.

“I like the presentation, all the body language,” Showalter said. “I have a lot of people who tell me about him and they have more experience with him and I’m leaning on that, but he’s quite athletic for a big guy. I’d be pretty picky if I didn’t say they look like that.”

Tylor Megil
Tylor Megill plays against the Cardinals during the Mets spring training game.

Part of the thrill for Megill has been the connection to his childhood hero Max Scherzer, who the Mets signed this offseason. The two pitchers played tag last week when reality hit Megill.

“I was a bit fanboying,” Megill said. “It’s fun to watch someone you grew up with [watching] in middle school and high school until now and now he’s on the same team it’s amazing. I’ve chatted with him a few times, so I take what he says to me to heart. At the end of the day, I’m trying to get better and he’s trying to help others get better.”

Megill’s approach at a clubhouse that’s home to another multiple Cy Young Award winner, Jacob deGrom, is to listen more than to speak.

“I just absorb what knowledge they have and try to chat when I can,” Megill said. “Don’t try to push boundaries. Just stand by when I have questions to avoid being too much in her space. Mets’ Tylor Megill adds new pitch to search for rotation


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