Meyer maturing on the job

There is still a bit of on-the-job training for Marlins lefty Dan Meyer, but with each passing game he is learning more about himself.

Once a touted prospect as a starter in the Braves system, Meyer is establishing himself as a strong situational lefty coming out of the bullpen.

Saturday night he cleared another personal hurdle. Entering in relief of Leo Nunez in the eighth inning with the potential tying run at third base, Meyer struck out Johnny Damon, who couldn’t hold back on a high fastball.

Damon was the only batter Meyer faced, but the sequence helped secure the Marlins, 2-1, win over the Yankees.

“It just doesn’t get much better as far as being a competitor,” Meyer said. “I got out there early, I was a little nervous. It was funny. Something just kind of hit me. My previous years when I was with Oakland, I would get a little nervous.

“But for some reason, maybe it was the 2-0 pitch or the 2-1 pitch, I said to myself, ‘This is what you play for. To play before 45,000 people, some of them for us, some of them against us. Johnny Damon at the plate. Me versus him. That’s what you play for.’ It was a lot of fun.”

The Marlins claimed Meyer off waivers from Oakland last November, and they’ve developed him in a key bullpen role.

“There is so much more for me to learn in this game, especially coming out of the bullpen,” he said. “Every time I go out there it’s a learning experience.”

Getting Damon at a pivotal moment was another step forward. The previous night the two faced each other in the eighth inning. Meyer threw a slider that Damon slapped into right field for a single.

“I threw a lot of them [sliders] last night, and he had a base hit off me [Friday] night,” Meyer said. “I just said, ‘I wanted to stay with the fastball here.’ I guess I missed my spot by so much that he chased it. For me, that was a lot of fun.”

— Joe Frisaro




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