Merritt Working Out The Kinks

BINGHAMTON, NY - Reliever Roy Merritt knows what he is up against in the Eastern League. Merritt, a fourth-year left-hander, is back with the B-Mets in 2010 and trying to improve his craft against Eastern League hitters. It has been an up and down season so far for the southpaw, but he is confident his work will lead to stronger results in the second half.

Left-handed pitcher Roy Merritt has been a significant contributor out of the bullpen for the Binghamton Mets since the beginning of the 2009 season. The 24-year old closer led the B-Mets with 56 appearances, while notching a career high 14 saves and 33 games finished last season.

The Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star also finished with a 3.45 earned run average and tossed a career high 62.2 innings. His performance earned him B-Mets Pitcher of the Year honors for 2009.

Not only has Merritt performed well for Binghamton, but he's also been effective throughout his entire professional career. He owns a 2.85 ERA in 164 innings since being selected in the 29th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Making the jump to the Double-A level can be a tough adjustment for some players. However, Merritt has seemed to adapt quite well to the Eastern League.

"I just came here and just made sure to pound the strike zone and keep people off the bases," Merritt said.

Now in his second year with the B-Mets, Merritt's comfort level is aided by the familiarity of his surroundings and the return of some of his teammates.

"Most of the teams have quite a few players back from the previous year," Merritt said. "So that helps a little bit, but it's baseball. Everybody comes to work and grinds it out."

Merritt is comfortable with the current state of his slider. "My slider is fine," he said. "It's like everything, you've got to keep working on it, make it better, keep improving."

B-Mets pitching coach Mark Brewer's focus with Merritt as of late has been refining the delivery of his breaking ball.

"Most of the work up to this point has been just staying on top of his breaking ball versus getting up underneath it. When he gets up underneath it, it tends to have an up to down break versus a fastball plane to down break," Brewer said.

Getting better results against right-handed hitters is currently one of Merritt's biggest obstacles. He's allowed 12 runs (nine earned), 16 hits and eight walks against righties this season. It's something he's trying to improve day in and day out.

"It's a work in progress," Merritt said. "I'm working everyday on setting up hitters and just going from there."

Brewer explained that utilizing the changeup more would help Merritt's performance against right-handed hitters.

"He's going to have to use his changeup more often," Brewer said. "That pitch is middle to away from the right-handed hitters so they roll over the ball more."

"And Roy has to continue to work on getting inside to the right-handed hitters on a consistent basis. He does it a lot, but the times he doesn't quite get it in there are the times he gets hurt. Overall, though, Roy's done a real good job for us," Brewer added.

Merritt has found success so far in 2010. He currently leads the team with three saves and nine games finished. He's been the go-to guy at the end of games in his B-Mets career. Being a closer requires a specific mentality, according to Merritt.

"Closing games, it's a different mindset," he said. "You come into the game, close ballgame, one or two runs, and you're team is relying on you to shut the door. You have to go in there, make sure you're zoned in and put away the other team."

Merritt performed excellently in April. He finished the month with a 1.76 ERA in 15.1 innings. He retired 19 consecutive batters in a stretch spanning from April 25th to May 3rd.

Things have been different in May, though. Merritt has allowed 14 runs (11 earned) in 14 2/3 innings this month. Six of those runs were conceded in his appearance at New Britain last Friday.

Merritt knows he needs to be more consistent as he continues to develop his game.

"It's been up-and-down so far," he said. "It's a learning experience; everyday you learn something new."

Brewer is pleased with Merritt's performance thus far this season.

"He's down in the zone…he's done pretty well up to this point. He had a rough outing last time, but he's been our go-to guy. You kind of revert back to the old saying, ‘if it ain't broke, don't fix it'."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nLeft-handed pitcher Roy Merritt has been a significant contributor out of the bullpen for the Binghamton Mets since the beginning of the 2009 season. The 24-year old closer led the B-Mets with 56 appearances, while notching a career high 14 saves and 33 games finished last season.
\r\n
\r\nThe Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star also finished with a 3.45 earned run average and tossed a career high 62.2 innings. His performance earned him B-Mets Pitcher of the Year honors for 2009.
\r\n
\r\nNot only has Merritt performed well for Binghamton, but he's also been effective throughout his entire professional career. He owns a 2.85 ERA in 164 innings since being selected in the 29th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
\r\n
\r\nMaking the jump to the Double-A level can be a tough adjustment for some players. However, Merritt has seemed to adapt quite well to the Eastern League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just came here and just made sure to pound the strike zone and keep people off the bases,\" Merritt said.
\r\n
\r\nNow in his second year with the B-Mets, Merritt's comfort level is aided by the familiarity of his surroundings and the return of some of his teammates.
\r\n
\r\n\"Most of the teams have quite a few players back from the previous year,\" Merritt said. \"So that helps a little bit, but it's baseball. Everybody comes to work and grinds it out.\"
\r\n
\r\nMerritt is comfortable with the current state of his slider. \"My slider is fine,\" he said. \"It's like everything, you've got to keep working on it, make it better, keep improving.\"
\r\n
\r\nB-Mets pitching coach Mark Brewer's focus with Merritt as of late has been refining the delivery of his breaking ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"Most of the work up to this point has been just staying on top of his breaking ball versus getting up underneath it. When he gets up underneath it, it tends to have an up to down break versus a fastball plane to down break,\" Brewer said.
\r\n
\r\nGetting better results against right-handed hitters is currently one of Merritt's biggest obstacles. He's allowed 12 runs (nine earned), 16 hits and eight walks against righties this season. It's something he's trying to improve day in and day out.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's a work in progress,\" Merritt said. \"I'm working everyday on setting up hitters and just going from there.\"
\r\n
\r\nBrewer explained that utilizing the changeup more would help Merritt's performance against right-handed hitters.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's going to have to use his changeup more often,\" Brewer said. \"That pitch is middle to away from the right-handed hitters so they roll over the ball more.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"And Roy has to continue to work on getting inside to the right-handed hitters on a consistent basis. He does it a lot, but the times he doesn't quite get it in there are the times he gets hurt. Overall, though, Roy's done a real good job for us,\" Brewer added.
\r\n
\r\nMerritt has found success so far in 2010. He currently leads the team with three saves and nine games finished. He's been the go-to guy at the end of games in his B-Mets career. Being a closer requires a specific mentality, according to Merritt.
\r\n
\r\n\"Closing games, it's a different mindset,\" he said. \"You come into the game, close ballgame, one or two runs, and you're team is relying on you to shut the door. You have to go in there, make sure you're zoned in and put away the other team.\"
\r\n
\r\nMerritt performed excellently in April. He finished the month with a 1.76 ERA in 15.1 innings. He retired 19 consecutive batters in a stretch spanning from April 25th to May 3rd.
\r\n
\r\nThings have been different in May, though. Merritt has allowed 14 runs (11 earned) in 14 2/3 innings this month. Six of those runs were conceded in his appearance at New Britain last Friday.
\r\n
\r\nMerritt knows he needs to be more consistent as he continues to develop his game.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's been up-and-down so far,\" he said. \"It's a learning experience; everyday you learn something new.\"
\r\n
\r\nBrewer is pleased with Merritt's performance thus far this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's down in the zone…he's done pretty well up to this point. He had a rough outing last time, but he's been our go-to guy. You kind of revert back to the old saying, ‘if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.\"
\r\n
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