Alex Meyer is becoming the pitcher the LA Angels have been hoping for.
The LA Angels took a chance last July when they decided to trade a young left-hander Hector Santiago to the Minnesota Twins for struggling pitcher Ricky Nolasco and 6’7 pitching prospect Alex Meyer who was injured at the time.
Alex Meyer had been on the disabled list since May of 2016 when the LA Angels acquired him from the Minnesota Twins on July, 31st 2016. For the final two months of 2016, Nolasco pitched well for the LA Angels while Meyer did return to the mound but struggled to find his way in five September starts.
This Spring the Angels were hoping for Meyer to pitch well enough so that he could win the fifth starting spot in the Angels 2017 rotation. However, Meyer struggled mightily posting a 7.20 ERA walking 10 batters in 10 innings of work and Meyer also allowed opposing hitters to hit .300 against him. Meyer would be sent to Triple-A Salt Lake City to start the season and work out some of the kinks.
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As fate would have it the Angels had Garrett Richards go on the disabled list early in the season and Meyer was promoted to majors to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 21st. Meyer struggled early on lasting only 7.2 innings in his first two starts giving up eight runs, walking seven and striking out seven.
Meyer had a 9.39 ERA after those first two starts. Since then though Meyer has been slowly lowering his ERA to its current 3.52. Meyer has still had his control issues walking 30 batters in 46 innings while striking out 55 batters. Opposing hitters are now batting .208 against him.
In the month of June Meyer has been especially sharp in all of his June starts giving up only three runs in 22.2 innings striking out 27 batters and holding opposing hitters to a .181 batting average with a 1.19 WHIP. Meyer’s last start was especially stellar as he held the Kansas City Royals to two hits in six innings of shutout ball with nine strikeouts and only one walk last Saturday.
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Angels manager Mike Scioscia is pleased with Meyer’s recent progress. “This is one of the games you hope for where he bottled his stuff with the command he was in the zone with terrific stuff all afternoon it was a big lift for us,” Scioscia said after Saturday’s game. “You have to go back to all the work he has put since last winter.. Alex has worked on his focus and command. It’s tough to look back to just a handful of games, but if you compare him to where he was last year and even in Spring Training he is light years ahead. It is important for his growth and there is no question how good his arm is.”
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Hopefully Meyer will continue to develop into the staff ace the Angels were hoping for when they made that deal last July. With all the pitching woes the Angels have had Meyer has been a breath of fresh air and as he continues to develop his control will improve not unlike another tall pitcher, 6’11 Randy Johnson. We will just have to wait and see.