The Indians due to some ‘circumstances’ will be throwing out a player on the mound that most fans know little to nothing about. That pitcher is 24-year-old Ryan Merritt, who unless you are tuned into the Indians minor league system, you’ve only seen pitch once this season.
That one outing the Indians would love to see him duplicate today, as that afternoon against the Kansas City Royals he threw five innings, allowing one run on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
It was an impressive outing in a game that the Indians turns out did need the game in order to secure home field for the ALDS against the Red Sox, and we know how that worked out.
So just what is Merritt all about? Well, the scouting report from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book says that he’s ‘stereotyped finesse lefty,’ and at 6-foot, 165 pounds, he has a fastball that is 87 to 91 miles per hour.
average curveball, average change-up, excellent control, low-maintenance mechanics, impressive pitching instincts, good record for durability. A 16th round pick in 2011 from McClelland Community College in Texas, he passed the Double-A test last season and should open 2016 in Triple-A with a chance for some major league time. Merritt’s stuff isn’t quite as good as teammate Shawn Morimando’s, but Merritt has more consistent command. A caution flag is his low strikeout rate, but for some reason I like him more than the numbers say I should. Grade C+.
Merritt has been keeping fresh and throwing, which is a good thing, as he was out in Arizona throwing bullpen sessions and pitching against instructional league hitters while the Indians were in the process of a sweep against the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.
This season in Columbus Merritt was 11-8 with a 3.70 ERA in 24 starts.
Today he pitches the game of his life, and with a win his name will for sure be known by Indians fans now and forever.
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