Stoner Working Through New Challenge

BINGHAMTON, NY - It was in 2009 and 2010 when Tobi Stoner not only appeared in his first big league games, but was on the cusp of holding a spot on the roster. However, an embattled 2010 season that eventually ended under the knife has pushed Stoner back down the depth chart. Now, the right-hander is in Binghamton, looking to make an impact and assume his previous position.

In both 2009 and 2010, right-handed pitcher Tobi Stoner was called up by the New York Mets, making five total appearances with the club that selected him in the 16th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Stoner made one appearance with New York last season before undergoing surgery in August to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow. However, 2010 could best be characterized as a year during which Stoner had to battle, accruing a 6-10 record, 5.97 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 120 2/3 innings. He was removed from the 40-man roster this offseason, and a winter spent recovering delayed the start of his 2011 campaign.

"I had to strength out the shoulder muscles before I even started throwing on the mound, and then I had to start the throwing program," he said. "Most guys up in New York started throwing in January to get tossing and throwing bullpens, but I didn't pick up a baseball until February or even early March, so I was a month and a half behind before the throwing program even started."

After a lengthy recovery process that included extended spring training, Stoner returned to the mound with St. Lucie in May, posting a 7.80 ERA over three starts. Though surrendering 21 hits and 13 runs in only 15 innings of work, the righty felt he continued to progress.

"It was more about getting back to the mechanics and to where they were two seasons ago, since last season I was pitching with a sore elbow," Stoner said. "I had to retune my mechanics, so I didn't really try and go out there and throw shutouts or anything I just wanted to feel good and recover better than I was able to in 2010."

"To me, pitching in Class-A was more about putting forth the energy and intensity of pitching in a game and being able to recover from that," he continued. "That definitely helped me with my mechanics and everything."

For Stoner, taking it slow has been integral to a successful recovery, and the process included more than just physical recuperation.

"Just mentally knowing that I'm not going to be able to come out and throw like I'm in midseason condition," he said. "I had to keep telling myself that I was coming out of spring training, I was not in May form or June form. I needed to make sure that I was mentally staying within myself, taking the process slow and doing whatever my body allowed me to do to be able to progress."

Surprisingly, Stoner says his injury actually helped his pitches, and with better extension has been able to use them more effectively.

"If anything it helped me," he said. "I was able to get some extension back and I got my curveball back. Last year I was short-arming everything so I couldn't get on top of it, but my curveball's back, my slider's sharp and my changeup is as good as it ever was. I'm really happy with all four of my pitches and at this point I'm hoping to go out there and get people out."

Now with Binghamton, Stoner working his way back with hopes of getting back to Triple-A as soon as possible. Through five starts with the B-Mets, his ERA stands at 6.67, but the right-hander is starting to be more comfortable and confident on the mound.

"My biggest goal right now is to go out and compete," he said. "My arm's feeling good, I feel like I'm in midseason shape, so I want to go out and get hitters out. I want to progress to Triple-A, the big leagues or wherever they want me or need me. I want to get there and I want to get people out."

"I want to keep my team in ballgames," he continued. "If I give up eight runs and my team has nine, then I'll try and keep that team where they're at. Or if I go out and throw a shutout, I just want to make sure that my ultimate goal is to go deep into games and keep my team in it wherever I'm at, and just try and stop whatever danger or damage is being done."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nIn both 2009 and 2010, right-handed pitcher Tobi Stoner was called up by the New York Mets, making five total appearances with the club that selected him in the 16th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.\r\n

\r\nStoner made one appearance with New York last season before undergoing surgery in August to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow. However, 2010 could best be characterized as a year during which Stoner had to battle, accruing a 6-10 record, 5.97 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 120 2/3 innings. He was removed from the 40-man roster this offseason, and a winter spent recovering delayed the start of his 2011 campaign. \r\n

\r\n \"I had to strength out the shoulder muscles before I even started throwing on the mound, and then I had to start the throwing program,\" he said. \"Most guys up in New York started throwing in January to get tossing and throwing bullpens, but I didn't pick up a baseball until February or even early March, so I was a month and a half behind before the throwing program even started.\"\r\n

\r\nAfter a lengthy recovery process that included extended spring training, Stoner returned to the mound with St. Lucie in May, posting a 7.80 ERA over three starts. Though surrendering 21 hits and 13 runs in only 15 innings of work, the righty felt he continued to progress.\r\n

\r\n\"It was more about getting back to the mechanics and to where they were two seasons ago, since last season I was pitching with a sore elbow,\" Stoner said. \"I had to retune my mechanics, so I didn't really try and go out there and throw shutouts or anything I just wanted to feel good and recover better than I was able to in 2010.\"\r\n

\r\n\"To me, pitching in Class-A was more about putting forth the energy and intensity of pitching in a game and being able to recover from that,\" he continued. \"That definitely helped me with my mechanics and everything.\"\r\n

\r\nFor Stoner, taking it slow has been integral to a successful recovery, and the process included more than just physical recuperation. \r\n

\r\n\"Just mentally knowing that I'm not going to be able to come out and throw like I'm in midseason condition,\" he said. \"I had to keep telling myself that I was coming out of spring training, I was not in May form or June form. I needed to make sure that I was mentally staying within myself, taking the process slow and doing whatever my body allowed me to do to be able to progress.\"\r\n

\r\nSurprisingly, Stoner says his injury actually helped his pitches, and with better extension has been able to use them more effectively.\r\n

\r\n\"If anything it helped me,\" he said. \"I was able to get some extension back and I got my curveball back. Last year I was short-arming everything so I couldn't get on top of it, but my curveball's back, my slider's sharp and my changeup is as good as it ever was. I'm really happy with all four of my pitches and at this point I'm hoping to go out there and get people out.\"\r\n

\r\nNow with Binghamton, Stoner working his way back with hopes of getting back to Triple-A as soon as possible. Through five starts with the B-Mets, his ERA stands at 6.67, but the right-hander is starting to be more comfortable and confident on the mound.\r\n

\r\n\"My biggest goal right now is to go out and compete,\" he said. \"My arm's feeling good, I feel like I'm in midseason shape, so I want to go out and get hitters out. I want to progress to Triple-A, the big leagues or wherever they want me or need me. I want to get there and I want to get people out.\" \r\n

\r\n\"I want to keep my team in ballgames,\" he continued. \"If I give up eight runs and my team has nine, then I'll try and keep that team where they're at. Or if I go out and throw a shutout, I just want to make sure that my ultimate goal is to go deep into games and keep my team in it wherever I'm at, and just try and stop whatever danger or damage is being done.\"\r\n

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