Meyer's biggest mechanical flaw, according to A's minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson (who I spoke on Saturday morning with about Meyer for Scout.com), is that he has a tendency to fail to finish some of his pitches, which causes the pitches to stay up in the strike-zone. We saw that on Saturday night on the three homeruns. However, when Meyer was finishing his pitches, his stuff was very difficult for the Tigers' hitters to handle. He got a lot of groundballs and was able to keep the hitters off-balance, for the most part. In addition, he worked at a much better pace than he did last season and generally looked a lot more confident on the mound.
That last sentence is the key to Meyer for me. I exchanged greetings with Meyer at Fanfest just after the Tim Hudson trade, and the guy looked like a scared puppy, totally overwhelmed. Unlike Hudson, who I also ran into once in his rookie season. Although Hudson is physically no bigger than I am, he had a look in his eyes that said, "I'm the big dog around here." It didn't surprise me that Meyer was too afraid to admit to his spring training injury his first year in Oakland, or to hear that he sometimes lacks confidence on the mound. Meyer's just probably not a naturally self-confident guy, but instead probably needs some success to give him the self-confidence to have success. It's a bit of a catch-22. You could probably throw a bulldog like Hudson into the World Series as a fresh rookie and he'll be fine, but a guy like Meyer needs to be eased into things. Start him in the bullpen against some lousy teams, and then let him work his way up.