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Tylor Megill’s long road back to the Mets has finally reached the finish line. The righthander will be activated on Monday, manager Buck Showalter said Saturday-evening before the Mets’ 5-1 win against the Pirates.
At that point, the Mets will find out if Megill can help them by serving as a much-needed high-leverage weapon from the bullpen, after a three-month absence due to a right shoulder. Megill was a reliever in college and early in his minor league career, so he does have experience in that role. The Mets are unsure whether Megill will be used as a multi-inning reliever or a more traditional arm out of the bullpen.
“I’ll try to get Tylor out as soon as possible,” Showalter said of Megill, who was at Citi Field, on Saturday. “I think he’s capable of both” [long and short outings] straight away. We’ll see what suits the club best.”
Megill last played in a game for the Mets on June 16. He started the year exceptionally well, throwing starts to a 1.93 ERA in April five, replacing injured ace Jacob deGrom. But injuries to Megill’s right biceps and shoulder have sidelined him for the past four months.
He appeared in six minor games during his rehabilitation assignment, with mixed results. Megill gave up six earned runs in 5 ²/₃ innings, and struggled with his command in the last two appearances (his two worst by far), walking three batters. He struckout a total of nine batters, mostly pitching every third day.
“Some of it has been very good, of course. It’s almost something you kind of want to see him go through,” Showalter said. “I think the most important thing is that he’s healthy. He feels good the next day, he feels good when he’s throwing. He’s at that point now where he doesn’t really think about it.”
Megill has spoken to some of the Mets’ relievers about the transition, but said he doesn’t think it will be a problem adjusting to the new role. After missing out on so much time, Megill is just happy to be back and eager to contribute at the heart of a pennant race in September.
“It’s fun, it’s going to be an exciting time here for the trajectory,” Megill said. “Obviously there are still a few weeks to go, so there will be a lot of adrenaline, a lot of excitement. I am ready.”