clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tylor Megill looked fantastic in 2022...until he got hurt

Big Drip’s velocity bump led to a dominant April, but may have come at a cost.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Milwaukee Brewers v New York Mets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Tylor Megill was the Mets’ Opening Day starter in 2022. No one can take that away from him. The Mets won 101 games last season and the first of those wins was credited to Tylor Megill. His solid rookie campaign in 2021 propelled him up the pecking order on the Mets’ depth chart, but in the Mets’ stacked rotation, Megill was still on the outside looking in. That is, until Jacob deGrom went down with a shoulder injury right before the season started and hamstring tightness kept Max Scherzer out of the mix for Opening Day. Suddenly, Tylor Megill went from Triple-A depth to Opening Day starter and key contributor to a team that had designs on winning a World Series.

When Tylor Megill took the mound to fill in for the Mets’ ailing aces, he looked very different from the solid, but unremarkable young pitcher the Mets saw the season before. Big Drip was suddenly throwing harder—a lot harder. Adjustments to his mechanics resulted in an over 1 mph increase in velocity to his fastball and a whopping 3.5 mph increase to his changeup. Though not any harder, his slider exhibited much more movement in 2022 and became a whiff-inducing machine. The results? Megill went 4-0 in April with a jaw-dropping 1.93 ERA.

But, as the recently departed Mets’ ace will tell you, throwing the baseball way harder often comes with a price. And Megill’s ace-like production did not last long before he had to pay the piper. On May 11, the lowly Nationals lineup—the same lineup he tossed five scoreless innings against on Opening Day—tagged Megill for eight runs on eight hits in 1 13 innings. A few days later, he was placed on the injured list with biceps inflammation. He returned about a month later and left his second start back from the injured in the fourth inning with a shoulder strain and was not seen again until September. All told, he pitched to an 11.48 ERA in four starts on either side of the monthlong IL stint. That inflated Megill’s season ERA to a mediocre 5.13 in just 47 13 innings. In September, he returned as a reliever and pitched six pedestrian innings out of the bullpen.

But, the glimpse into what is possible for Megill was there. As of this writing, Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco are the only returning members of the main 2022 Mets rotation. The Mets are looking to acquire a top of the rotation starter in free agency and are likely to add a mid-rotation starter as well. But that still leaves a spot open for Megill. He will likely have to compete with David Peterson for that role, but if he can demonstrate that the promise he showed in April is the real deal and that he can sustain it while staying healthy, he stands to be a key contributor in 2023.