Big league bros: Megills back each other

June 26th, 2021

NEW YORK -- When Mets rookie Tylor Megill made his Major League debut Wednesday night against the Braves, one of his biggest fans understood the feeling. Megill’s older brother, Trevor, had made his own debut just two months earlier for the Cubs in Atlanta.

“It was a really cool feeling,” Tylor Megill said. “It’s a coincidence that we happened to debut against the same team, too. He’s always texting me and pushing me and telling me to just keep trucking ahead and at some point, make it happen.”

The Megills grew up together in Southern California, but the year-and-a-half difference in age meant that they rarely played in organized games on the same field. Trevor Megill went on to attend Loyola Marymount University and become a seventh-round pick of the Padres in 2015, before going to the Cubs in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft. Tylor attended the University of Arizona before becoming an eighth-round pick of the Mets in 2018.

Along their respective Minor League journeys, the two brothers made a point to talk almost every day -- including the night of April 26, when Trevor debuted with a scoreless inning.

“My brother got there and it was just like, ‘OK, he’s there,’” Tylor said. “‘Now it’s my turn to keep pushing forward and try to get there as well.’”

When Tylor did, he and Trevor became the first pair of brothers to debut in the same season since Scott and Tyler Heineman two years ago. Tylor Megill threw 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his own debut, likely earning another start at some point next week for the Mets’ shorthanded pitching staff.

Now back at the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa affiliate, Trevor has been just one of many voices blowing up Tylor’s phone this week.

“He was just really fired up,” Tylor said. “He was just super excited. He called me. We had a great conversation. It was just awesome that it happened.”

From the trainer’s room

For the first time in weeks, Carlos Carrasco moved his rehab from a strained right hamstring to the slope of a mound in the Citi Field bullpen. Carrasco had previously been throwing only off flat ground.

“He’s trending right,” manager Luis Rojas said. “His legs feel really good. He’s going to start a progression and we’re going to start doing more and more of the throwing on the slope.”

Carrasco has suffered multiple setbacks since tearing his hamstring in Spring Training. The Mets recently shut him down in an effort to make sure he could strengthen his legs fully before returning to the mound. Carrasco’s ramp-up from the slope of a mound to game readiness will take weeks, putting him on track for a return after the All-Star break.

The 11-year veteran has not pitched since the Mets acquired him in the Francisco Lindor blockbuster with the Indians last winter.

Working back

Mets officials continue to insist they’re unconcerned with Dellin Betances’ struggles during a Minor League rehab assignment, as he works his way back from a right shoulder impingement. Betances allowed three runs in a Friday night outing for Triple-A Syracuse, after giving up five runs in a game earlier this month for Class A St. Lucie. He has also thrown three scoreless appearances for an overall ERA of 19.64 while on assignment.

The Mets had targeted a late June or early July return for Betances, but his issues could cause them to reconsider that timeline.

“The first thing is we want him healthy, and we want him throwing like he can throw,” Rojas said of Betances, who made one appearance in April before landing on the IL. “His reads have been good from our perspective. We like the reads. We like the arm angle. We like the release point. We like the fastball where it is now compared to where it was when he went on the IL. … That’s what we’re looking at -- nothing more.”

Seeing stars

Although Mets position players are not performing well in All-Star Game fan voting, the pitching staff could have multiple members elected to this year’s National League team. Unlike position players, pitchers are chosen through a combination of player ballot selections and choices made by the Commissioner's Office.

Among the Mets’ top candidates are Jacob deGrom, Edwin Díaz, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker -- the latter a nine-year veteran who has never made an All-Star team.

“It would definitely feel special,” said Walker, who ranks ninth in the NL with a 2.38 ERA. “Having the Tommy John surgery [in 2018] and not really pitching to my potential before that, like I know I can -- it just took the last two years to feel healthy and feel good.”

deGrom, Díaz and Stroman have all been All-Stars in the past.