Lost in the shuffle Yankee brawls last night was another bad performance by the highly touted pitching prospect Mark Melancon.
Throughout his minor league career one thing that has been a major standout was his impeccable control. In 53 innings in the minors this season he walked just 11 batters and in 95 innings last year he walked just 22. In just 1.1 innings last night he managed to walk a batter, hit another, and throw two wild pitches. That doesn’t sound like the same guy.
His overall numbers in the majors this season, while the sample size is small, are still alarming. In just 16.1 innings, his control has vitually abandoned him, 10 walks, four hit batters, and three wild pitches. That’s nearly a batter an inning before he has even allowed a single hit.
The good thing is that three seasons in the minor leagues have given us a much larger sample size than the 16 innings he has pitched in the big leagues. During that time he kept a pretty consistent around two walks per nine innings and it has actually gotten stronger.
So indications are that he’s just having a tough time adjusting and he will eventually come around, but with some fans hoping he would contribute to this seasons team in some way it is a little disappointing. Like it or not though, next season he is going to play a much bigger role in the Bronx and if he doesn’t pick up the slack soon people will start to throw the ‘B’ word around and that would be a shame because young pitchers need time to adjust.
He’ll be 25 next season though which isn’t extremely young. So maybe an offseason sitting on the bench and a full spring training with real big league expectations can give him the trail he needs to start to turn this around.