Efficiency Important For Melancon

Even coming off of Tommy John surgery, Mark Melacon went a combined 8-1 with a 2.27 ERA over three minor league levels in his first full season of professional baseball this year. Possessing closer potential, he doesn't pile up the prototypical closer-like strikeout totals and he says it's because efficiency is an important part of his game.

"All in all it was very good," Mark Melancon said of his 2008 season. "I was coming back from surgery and I was 100 percent pretty much from the get-go, not having any sort of setbacks with my elbow or shoulder. It's just been great."

The numbers were nearly as impressive as his meteoric rise through the farm system this year, going from the Florida State League all the way to Triple-A in his first full season since being drafted back in 2006.

Perhaps the most shocking number, however, was the amount of innings he pitched in his first season off of successful Tommy John surgery, but that was a byproduct of his efficiency on the mound.

"There was a span in Double-A where I couldn't get to 50 pitches," he said of his pitch limits. "I think [Trenton pitching coach] Scotty Aldred had a lot of faith in me and wanted to push me because he knew I could keep going and that it wasn't going to hurt me, and my pitch count was down, why not throw another inning."

He threw nearly 50 innings with the Trenton Thunder after compiling 25 innings in the Florida State League at the beginning of the season, and then capped it off with another 20 innings for the Triple-A Scranton Yankees at the end of the year.

A rare reliever who isn't obsessed with piling up strikeout totals, Melancon says being efficient with his pitches is an important part of his game.

"Yes it's very important," he admitted. "I remember reading something from Roger Clemens where he said 'until I get to two strikes, I don't want to strike anybody out'.

"I want to make early contact and then once I get to two strikes then I'll go for the strikeout pitch. I don't want to think about that too early."

Despite living in a highlight-reel era of baseball, one in which nearly every player seeks to pad their own numbers, Melancon is a bit of a throwback player where the team's success is more important than his own numbers.

"It comes down to winning and losing," he said adamantly. "That's why I don't like looking at stats. People are so wrapped up in stats but the bottom line is winning. However you do that, it doesn't matter."

Realizing there are some relief pitching prospects who invariably will strike out a few more batters than he, and that fact might not get him the notoriety others may receive, in the end it doesn't matter to him as long as he gets the job done.

"Even going back to [the University of] Arizona, I've always had good numbers at every level I've been at. But I'm not worried about that at all, I'm going to go out and get a lot of ground balls and I'm going to make it difficult on the hitter."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"All in all it was very good,\" Mark Melancon said of his 2008 season. \"I was coming back from surgery and I was 100 percent pretty much from the get-go, not having any sort of setbacks with my elbow or shoulder. It's just been great.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe numbers were nearly as impressive as his meteoric rise through the farm system this year, going from the Florida State League all the way to Triple-A in his first full season since being drafted back in 2006.
\r\n
\r\nPerhaps the most shocking number, however, was the amount of innings he pitched in his first season off of successful Tommy John surgery, but that was a byproduct of his efficiency on the mound.
\r\n
\r\n\"There was a span in Double-A where I couldn't get to 50 pitches,\" he said of his pitch limits. \"I think [Trenton pitching coach] Scotty Aldred had a lot of faith in me and wanted to push me because he knew I could keep going and that it wasn't going to hurt me, and my pitch count was down, why not throw another inning.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe threw nearly 50 innings with the Trenton Thunder after compiling 25 innings in the Florida State League at the beginning of the season, and then capped it off with another 20 innings for the Triple-A Scranton Yankees at the end of the year.
\r\n
\r\nA rare reliever who isn't obsessed with piling up strikeout totals, Melancon says being efficient with his pitches is an important part of his game.
\r\n
\r\n\"Yes it's very important,\" he admitted. \"I remember reading something from Roger Clemens where he said 'until I get to two strikes, I don't want to strike anybody out'.
\r\n
\r\n\"I want to make early contact and then once I get to two strikes then I'll go for the strikeout pitch. I don't want to think about that too early.\"
\r\n
\r\nDespite living in a highlight-reel era of baseball, one in which nearly every player seeks to pad their own numbers, Melancon is a bit of a throwback player where the team's success is more important than his own numbers.
\r\n
\r\n\"It comes down to winning and losing,\" he said adamantly. \"That's why I don't like looking at stats. People are so wrapped up in stats but the bottom line is winning. However you do that, it doesn't matter.\"
\r\n
\r\nRealizing there are some relief pitching prospects who invariably will strike out a few more batters than he, and that fact might not get him the notoriety others may receive, in the end it doesn't matter to him as long as he gets the job done.
\r\n
\r\n\"Even going back to [the University of] Arizona, I've always had good numbers at every level I've been at. But I'm not worried about that at all, I'm going to go out and get a lot of ground balls and I'm going to make it difficult on the hitter.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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