Tylor Megill has earned his stay with the Mets

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New York Post 14 July, 2021 - 03:39pm 11 views

Is Aaron judge playing in the All Star Game?

JUDGE DOES IT ALL After playing a prominent role in the pregame Hank Aaron tribute, standing arm in arm with Aaron's widow Billye, he took the field for his third All-Star game. New York Daily NewsAaron Judge, Taijuan Walker play key roles in All-Star Game

By Zach Braziller

July 14, 2021 | 4:39pm | Updated July 14, 2021 | 6:03pm

There were a number of big surprises in the first half of the season for the first-place Mets, from Taijuan Walker’s All-Star performance to Aaron Loup’s sterling work out of the bullpen, to the assortment of injuries that knocked out key players.

But nobody could’ve expected Tylor Megill not only to reach the major leagues in June, but also to emerge as a key part of the starting rotation.

“I didn’t think he was going to meet us this soon, a guy that wasn’t on the roster,” manager Luis Rojas said. “To see him here after watching from afar what he was doing at Double-A and Triple-A, I’m very impressed. I wasn’t expecting him to be here and be throwing the way he’s throwing. He’s showing everybody he’s got the poise, he’s got the stuff and the maturity to be here.”

Megill threw just two innings during spring training for the Mets. The 25-year-old right-hander started the season at Double-A Binghamton. A September call-up would’ve been the most optimistic expectation. But after a series of injuries that destroyed the team’s starting pitching depth, Megill was given a shot, and he has run with the opportunity.

For now, Megill seems to have a spot in the rotation until at least the July 30 trade deadline. Carlos Carrasco (torn hamstring) still seems to be a few weeks away from making his long-awaited Mets debut. He is set to begin a rehabilitation assignment Thursday for Single-A Brooklyn. David Peterson (strained right oblique) just began lightly throwing, and Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) won’t return until September.

Even if the Mets trade for a starting pitcher and Carrasco returns, at worst Megill could move into the bullpen as a long reliever. After lasting just 3 ²/₃ innings in his last outing, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner told him not to get down, because he isn’t going anywhere.

“I’m going about it each day with a positive attitude, trying to prove each time I go out [there I belong],” Megill said.

The Mets are planning to start the second half of the season Friday with Marcus Stroman on the mound, The Post’s Mike Puma reported. Walker could follow Stroman on Saturday after pitching an inning in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, with Jacob deGrom going on Sunday. The Mets want to see how deGrom feels when it reconvenes for a light workout on Thursday at Citi Field before the Mets fly to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. That would give deGrom 10 full days of rest since his last start.

J.D. Davis, out since May 1 due to a sprained left hand, is expected to be activated Friday. He has gotten hot in his rehabilitation assignment for Triple-A Syracuse, with seven hits in his past 12 at-bats, five of them for extra bases. Rojas has said Davis, out since May 1 due to a left hand sprain, will be a part of the rotation at third base and could see time at first base and in the outfield, as well.

Read full article at New York Post

Mets Notebook: Carrasco To Start For Brooklyn On Thursday; Taijuan Walker's First All-Star Experience

Sports Illustrated 14 July, 2021 - 05:30pm

Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco is set to make his first rehab start on Thursday with High-A Brooklyn. According to multiple reports, Carrasco will throw between 1-3 innings.

As general manager Zack Scott and manager Luis Rojas have both said, Carrasco might not need to fully ramp up before re-joining the big-league club.

Carrasco has yet to make his Mets debut after tearing his hamstring in spring training, and suffering a number of setbacks along the way.

Last week, he threw two bullpen sessions to live hitters, and was also seen doing fielding drills at Citi Field. Carrasco appeared to be moving well off the mound, and practiced sprinting over to cover first base, as well.

After losing David Peterson to an oblique injury and Joey Lucchesi to Tommy John surgery, rookie Tylor Megill has stepped up to claim a spot in the rotation (3.50 ERA in four starts). However, the Mets have been lacking a fifth starter and the return of Carrasco will provide much-needed stability in the backend of the rotation. 

Walker handled the sixth inning, recording a strikeout of Whit Merrifield, while inducing a fly out from Jose Ramirez. But he could not get out of the inning unscathed, as he allowed the homer to his former teammate in Zunino.

Regardless, it was a special experience that Walker will never forget.

“It means a lot, honestly,” Walker said. “My ninth year, which is crazy. I feel like I’ve been around forever. But it’s just special for me.”

Despite only receiving one offer in free agency via the Mets, Walker is glad to be where he is, and has certainly rewarded the Amazins' for taking a chance on him.

“I feel like I’m in the right spot,” he said. “I like the Mets. The Mets were actually one of my top five teams that I wanted to go to in the offseason. So for them to give me a chance and believe in me, I’m glad I can give back to them and show that they made a good choice.”

In 15 starts, Walker has produced a 7-3 record and 2.50 ERA, while striking out 89 batters in 90 innings. The Mets will be counting on him to continue pitching like a co-ace in the second half of the season.

Mets plan for pitching rotation and Jacob deGrom to start second half of 2021 MLB season

Yahoo Sports 14 July, 2021 - 03:13pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

The plan, per Mike Puma of The New York Post, is for Marcus Stroman to start on Friday.

According to Puma, the Mets are leaning toward starting Jacob deGrom on Sunday, but want to see how he feels before committing to a date.

As far as Taijuan Walker, it's possible he starts on Saturday, per Puma.

Since the Mets last played on July 11, they have the option of using any pitcher but Walker (who threw an inning during the All-Star Game on July 13) on regular or extra rest to start the second-half opener.

If deGrom, Stroman, and Walker start in Pittsburgh, Tylor Megill would be set up to pitch during the Mets' three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds that begins on July 19.

The Mets will also need a No. 5 starter during the Reds series, with the option of using an opener or possibly Carlos Carrasco.

Carrasco is set to make a rehab start on July 15.

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Five questions for the Mets in the second half

Newsday 14 July, 2021 - 11:25am

The Mets resume their season Friday, when they play the Pirates to begin a three-game series. Here are five questions that will help shape their next few months.

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. The trade deadline is July 30 — a day early this year so it doesn’t fall on a Saturday — and acting general manager Zack Scott has said that adding starting pitching is the priority, but he’ll never say never about other options.

"We're going to explore any opportunity to make the team better, whether that's offensively, in the rotation, in the bullpen," he said recently. "I'm not going to crystal ball anything, but I think there's a possibility of [acquiring a hitter specifically]."

Thus, the rumors connecting the Mets to Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson (under contract through 2023) and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (under contract only through the end of this season). Those probably will continue, but no position is in obvious need of a midseason upgrade, especially as the Mets count on the track record of underperforming hitters such as Michael Conforto.

Carrasco (torn right hamstring) is scheduled to make his first rehabilitation start with High-A Brooklyn on Thursday. The Mets have said he still can return this month, and they might activate him before he is fully stretched out to five/six innings, in effect having him finish his rehab in the majors.

Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) has been playing catch lately. The club expects him back in early September.

Scott framed their returns as "a bonus." Skepticism toward that sentiment would be fair. Adding at least one of these pitchers to Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman would set up the Mets’ playoff rotation nicely — and would seem not to leave an opening for an external big-time starter.

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The Mets are 28-14 at Citi Field and 19-26 at all other ballparks.

The remainder of their schedule tilts toward home games — 39 at Citi, 36 not — and fortunately for them their travel itinerary is rather tame.

The rest of the Mets’ road trips max out at a week each, so no more three-city marathons like they had in May and June. And they leave the Eastern time zone just twice: for a west-coast swing to San Francisco (Aug. 16-18) and Los Angeles (Aug. 19-22), which should be difficult, and for a visit to Milwaukee (Sept. 24-26).

DeGrom, Walker and Stroman have combined for a 2.12 ERA in starting more than half of the team’s games. That is absolutely incredible. All of them are pitching better than they ever have before.

It seems unlikely, however, that they can maintain that level of production. DeGrom (1.08 ERA) doing so would be downright historic. Walker (2.50), who has a long injury history, weeks ago passed his 2018-20 innings total. Stroman (2.75), who didn’t pitch last year, may have started to regress already, posting a 5.14 ERA in his past four starts.

Increasingly, the answer seems to be yes. That would make this the most important question of all, since it would allow the Mets to be mediocre and still be fine. Expected to be perhaps the best division in baseball coming into the year, the NL East features exactly one team with a winning record: the Mets.

Second-place Philadelphia, 3 1/2 games back, has one of the worst bullpens in the majors, including a disaster of a late-innings situation.

Atlanta, the two-time defending champion that is four games behind the Mets, hasn’t spent a single day above .500 and has lost premier hitters Ronald Acuna Jr., Travis d’Arnaud and Marcell Ozuna, plus No. 1 starter Mike Soroka, for the year.

Washington, six games back, at times has looked like it would make a run at the Mets but petered out before the break, losing 11 of 13 games against NL West powers Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

And Miami, nine games behind first place, is in trade-deadline seller mode, making last year’s winning record seem like an anomaly.

The NL East is the Mets’ to lose.

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Walker came in to pitch the full top of the sixth frame, striking out one batter while also allowing a solo home run to Tampa Bay's Mike Zunino.

After his inning of work, Walker spoke to reporters about what it was like to pitch in his first All-Star Game.

"I was super excited," Walker said during a 1-on-1 with SNY's Michelle Margaux. "I just had a big smile on my face the whole time.

"The red carpet was fun, watching Pete [Alonso] win the Home Run Derby and just standing on the mound and listening to my family scream for me and cheer for me. Just being a part of it, having the All-Star on my back...it's pretty cool, just the whole experience of it."

This was Walker's first time getting to experience playing in a game with and be around all of the league's biggest stars, and it took full advantage of the opportunity.

"Just hanging around guys, talking to them, seeing their personalities outside the baseball field," Walker said. "Talking with [Fernando] Tatis [Jr.], [Manny] Machado, you know just a bunch of different guys that I wouldn't ever really get to talk to cause we're competing against each other."

Walker earned his All-Star nod after racking up a 7-3 record, 2.50 ERA and 89 strikeouts in his first season with the Mets.

"I just feel healthy this year," Walker said on his success this season. "Coming back last year, first year back from Tommy John and I throw really good. And then this year I just feel like I'm finally putting the pieces together.

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