Meyers Refines His Game

After years of fighting back from surgery, Meyers has regained the capacity and confidence to move his career forward. He has been a steady presence in the Sand Gnats bullpen in 2007, and while there, he hopes to find the pitch that will advance his career. Inside Pitch caught up with him to see how he is coming along.

The 6-foot-5, 22-year-old right-handed Savannah reliever was yet another hurler in the Mets system who underwent Tommy John surgery early in his career. It was back during Ryan Meyers' rookie season of 2004, after racking up just six innings pitched, when he went under the knife. Since then, it has been a constant up-hill battle for him as he looks to harness a breaking ball and build his arm strength.

He tallied 30 innings in 2005 with Brooklyn, but it was last season when he had the strength for a full season's work load. Now, coming off a 105-inning, 3-10 season with Hagerstown, and posting a 4.89 earned run average, Meyers is back to 100-percent.

"Unlike anything I can measure, the best thing that I've done this entire season is stay healthy," he said. "Most importantly, I have all the power back on my fastball which is huge because I set up the rest of my pitches with it."

"My health has been a success, but when I'm out there, I don't look at numbers to gauge my success, I know I've pitched well if I met everything I set out to do that night."

It was that healthy elbow that allowed him to start the season at St. Lucie. However, he spent most of his time there on the inactive list, and when he did appear in games, his work was sub-par. He had a 7.71 ERA in six brief appearances totaling seven innings. Yet, Meyers was quick to understand why he did not find progress in the Florida State League.

"I was trying to be too perfect. I was trying to find corners and pitch away from contact and I walked right into trouble because of that. But what it did teach me was that when I'm out there, I have to attack the zone and make guys swing the bat," he explained.

Another factor that contributed to his shaky St. Lucie stay was the fact that he lacked a breaking ball. Since his surgery, he has fought to recover his curveball. Staring down FSL hitters with only a fastball and a changeup in the bag could lead to danger, and that is precisely what happened to Meyers.

"That was definitely a problem. I don't think too many guys would do too well at that level with only two pitches. But, I've been working on my breaking ball ever since I started rehab. Only was it last year down the stretch did my curveball finally start to reappear, but early this season, it still wasn't strong enough to face those lineups who will make you work".

So after such a tumultuous time in St. Lucie, why the sudden turnaround in Savannah? Since he recall to the South Atlantic League, Meyers has shown tremendous control, keeping hitters to a sub-.250 average and a steady 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Meyers was quick to dismiss that a lower level of play correlated to his achievements after the demotion.

"I hate to stay it's the talent down here because it's still a league where I have to go out and throw strikes. I think it was more of a personal thing coming down here. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be successful here over the long-term."

"Instead of making people think, when they see my name on the roster, that I'm a ‘has-been' or that I've been here too long, I want to put the pressure back on the organization to make a move with me instead of me having pressure on myself."

The pressure is minimized due in large part to his arm strength and a resurgence in his repertoire. His fastball is back to topping out near 92-93 MPH. His changeup slows to the upper-70's and his curveball, which can really pause a hitter if it were only consistent, hangs at around 72 MPH. Although he uses his fastball heavily, Meyers is not a pitcher who will dominate hitters. The key to his game is to mix speeds and pitch to contact.

"I like to keep that speed gap between my fastball and changeup, really all my pitches, because changing speeds well is going to get me to where I want to be. It's something that helps against any order," he said.

"Surprisingly, there are a lot of guys that jump around the zone here. But what I do is just use my fastball to set up other pitches and then strike guys out with the fastball. I don't have a fastball or breaking ball that will make guys look silly, but I have enough that will still make guys swing and miss."

The road back has been years in the making for Meyers. Years of recuperation, the peaks and valleys, have brought him back to the starting line. Yet he knows he cannot get ahead of himself. He demonstrates great patience in his own progression and knows that diligent work will pay off in the end.

"When I was going into the surgery, I was scared to death because I didn't know what would happen, or how I would react to it. But I knew that because of the intensity of the surgery, I had to respect the rehab from day one."

"The way I slow it all down is to not look at statistics. Statistics and worrying about promotions can make a guy's mind wander from baseball and that's how you waste time."

Given his age, and position on a pitching staff, there is plenty of time for Meyers to move up the ladder. His career will depend on the maturity of that curveball. Back at full strength and hungry to develop, he has assumed responsibility for his career from this point forward, knowing that it is all in his hands.

"The Mets will do with me what they will. I can't really be concerned about that right now. If they move me, they will, if they think I need more work, than I'll do it. That stuff is out of my control. All I can do is make myself better," he closed.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nThe 6-foot-5, 22-year-old right-handed Savannah reliever was yet another hurler in the Mets system who underwent Tommy John surgery early in his career. It was back during Ryan Meyers' rookie season of 2004, after racking up just six innings pitched, when he went under the knife. Since then, it has been a constant up-hill battle for him as he looks to harness a breaking ball and build his arm strength.
\r\n
\r\nHe tallied 30 innings in 2005 with Brooklyn, but it was last season when he had the strength for a full season's work load. Now, coming off a 105-inning, 3-10 season with Hagerstown, and posting a 4.89 earned run average, Meyers is back to 100-percent.
\r\n
\r\n\"Unlike anything I can measure, the best thing that I've done this entire season is stay healthy,\" he said. \"Most importantly, I have all the power back on my fastball which is huge because I set up the rest of my pitches with it.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"My health has been a success, but when I'm out there, I don't look at numbers to gauge my success, I know I've pitched well if I met everything I set out to do that night.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt was that healthy elbow that allowed him to start the season at St. Lucie. However, he spent most of his time there on the inactive list, and when he did appear in games, his work was sub-par. He had a 7.71 ERA in six brief appearances totaling seven innings. Yet, Meyers was quick to understand why he did not find progress in the Florida State League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was trying to be too perfect. I was trying to find corners and pitch away from contact and I walked right into trouble because of that. But what it did teach me was that when I'm out there, I have to attack the zone and make guys swing the bat,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nAnother factor that contributed to his shaky St. Lucie stay was the fact that he lacked a breaking ball. Since his surgery, he has fought to recover his curveball. Staring down FSL hitters with only a fastball and a changeup in the bag could lead to danger, and that is precisely what happened to Meyers.
\r\n
\r\n\"That was definitely a problem. I don't think too many guys would do too well at that level with only two pitches. But, I've been working on my breaking ball ever since I started rehab. Only was it last year down the stretch did my curveball finally start to reappear, but early this season, it still wasn't strong enough to face those lineups who will make you work\".
\r\n
\r\nSo after such a tumultuous time in St. Lucie, why the sudden turnaround in Savannah? Since he recall to the South Atlantic League, Meyers has shown tremendous control, keeping hitters to a sub-.250 average and a steady 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Meyers was quick to dismiss that a lower level of play correlated to his achievements after the demotion.
\r\n
\r\n\"I hate to stay it's the talent down here because it's still a league where I have to go out and throw strikes. I think it was more of a personal thing coming down here. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be successful here over the long-term.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Instead of making people think, when they see my name on the roster, that I'm a ‘has-been' or that I've been here too long, I want to put the pressure back on the organization to make a move with me instead of me having pressure on myself.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe pressure is minimized due in large part to his arm strength and a resurgence in his repertoire. His fastball is back to topping out near 92-93 MPH. His changeup slows to the upper-70's and his curveball, which can really pause a hitter if it were only consistent, hangs at around 72 MPH. Although he uses his fastball heavily, Meyers is not a pitcher who will dominate hitters. The key to his game is to mix speeds and pitch to contact.
\r\n
\r\n\"I like to keep that speed gap between my fastball and changeup, really all my pitches, because changing speeds well is going to get me to where I want to be. It's something that helps against any order,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"Surprisingly, there are a lot of guys that jump around the zone here. But what I do is just use my fastball to set up other pitches and then strike guys out with the fastball. I don't have a fastball or breaking ball that will make guys look silly, but I have enough that will still make guys swing and miss.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe road back has been years in the making for Meyers. Years of recuperation, the peaks and valleys, have brought him back to the starting line. Yet he knows he cannot get ahead of himself. He demonstrates great patience in his own progression and knows that diligent work will pay off in the end.
\r\n
\r\n\"When I was going into the surgery, I was scared to death because I didn't know what would happen, or how I would react to it. But I knew that because of the intensity of the surgery, I had to respect the rehab from day one.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"The way I slow it all down is to not look at statistics. Statistics and worrying about promotions can make a guy's mind wander from baseball and that's how you waste time.\"
\r\n
\r\nGiven his age, and position on a pitching staff, there is plenty of time for Meyers to move up the ladder. His career will depend on the maturity of that curveball. Back at full strength and hungry to develop, he has assumed responsibility for his career from this point forward, knowing that it is all in his hands.
\r\n
\r\n\"The Mets will do with me what they will. I can't really be concerned about that right now. If they move me, they will, if they think I need more work, than I'll do it. That stuff is out of my control. All I can do is make myself better,\" he closed.
\r\n
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