On the day in which the Mets learned that new acquisition Jose Quintana would be shut down for at least three months, Tylor Megill went four scoreless innings, allowing just three hits with three strikeouts in New York’s 9-3 win over the Miami Marlins.
The 27-year-old is continuing his strong spring, posting a 1.08 with six strikeouts across 8.1 innings of work — and it couldn’t be coming at a better time.
The right-hander is showing the kind of stuff that made him an invaluable member of the Mets’ starting rotation early last year when they were bitten by the injury bug. Over his first five starts of the 2022 campaign, he was 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA until a shoulder injury derailed his season. After going on the injured list in mid-May, Megill made just two more starts in June before returning in September as a reliever.
He ended the season with a 5.13 ERA after allowing 21 runs in his final 19.1 innings pitched.
“This guy was one of the better pitchers in the league for a month-and-whatever until he got hurt,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “I know I keep that in mind. He’s another piece that provides us — not just depth, he’s a lot more than depth — with a guy that can fit into a rotation.”
Making his health a priority, Megill admitted (h/t John Harper, SNY) that he’s taken his “foot off the gas a little bit to stay healthy.” That means cutting down on the velocity of his fastball, which would regularly hit between 98 and 99 mph last season.
So far in spring, his four-seamer is averaging 93-94 mph with a slower curveball that’s clocking in between 78-79 mph.
“It’s what I’ve been working on this whole offseason,” Megill said. “It’s really been helping the top of the zone for me.”
It certainly doesn’t hurt when you have a future Hall of Famer in Max Scherzer for guidance or to bounce ideas off of.
“I’ve been talking to Scherzer, he’s had a very long, healthy career,” Megill said. “The way he pitches, he saves some in the gas tank when he needs it and is able to stretch it out and go the distance. That’s what I’m trying to do — save my bullets and stay fresh longer.”
Should he continue to put up quality outings as he’s doing in spring, the Mets will need him for at least the first half of the season should he beat out David Peterson for that now-vacant No. 5 spot in the rotation.
“I think he learned a lot last year that more is not always better,” Showalter said.
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