Wednesday, May 4, 2016

That was quick

Alex Meyer reaches for the return throw from Kurt Suzuki
as George Springer scores on Meyer's third-inning wild pitch.
For the second year in a row, Alex Meyer made two appearances, showed a lack of command of his imposing stuff, and was returned to Triple A.

Coming up, to all appearances on a strictly temporary basis, is J.R. Graham. Graham isn't doing all that well at Rochester -- ERA 10.80 in 8.1 innings -- but Ervin Santana is expected to come off the disabled list Friday. Graham will be an extra bullpen arm in the next two days.

As for Meyer -- if he, Tyler Duffey and Jose Berrios were indeed dueling to stay in the rotation, I'd say it was a pretty easy call. Meyer, in his first major league start, got through two innings unscathed Tuesday but could not get through the third. He threw 64 pitches and only 34 for strikes. He struck out three, yes, but he also walked three, yielded a home run and threw a wild pitch. He returns to Rochester with a 12.27 ERA.

To be sure, in a way this callup was virtually designed for Meyer to fail. He's notably tall for a pitcher and, as is relatively common for a tall pitcher, has problems maintaining his mechanics. He was pitching in rotation in Rochester and was brought to the majors on his start day to serve as bullpen backup after the 16-inning disaster in Washington, then sat for days. He finally relieved on nine days rest, which in a purely what's-best-for-Alex-Meyer sense was about as poor a usage as one could imagine,

He's not going to thrive on sporadic use. That said, the Greg McMichael rule says: If you get outs, they'll find a role for you. That concept works in reverse, too; to get a role, you have to get outs first, Meyer hasn't pitched well enough to give Paul Molitor reason to want to give him regular work.

Meanwhile: Tommy Milone, in his first bullpen outing of the year, also gave up three runs, also yielded a homer, also threw a wild pitch. It was not a particularly effective bid to return to the rotation. So we can expect a rotation of Phil Hughes, Santana, Ricky Nolasco, Duffey and Berrios at least until Kyle Gibson returns, and there doesn't appear to be a timeline for Gibson.

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