McNab filling roles for B-Mets

Tim McNab's success relies on his sinker.

In a system where 95 MPH fastballs make headlines and staggering strikeout numbers catch the average fan's attention, one Binghamton Mets reliever has earned his merit by letting his defense do the work.

Tim McNab is gaining the respect of his teammates and coaches by showing he can be efficient and versatile on the B-Mets staff.

"He's a team guy," said Binghamton pitching coach Mark Brewer, "and the longer I'm in this game, the harder it is to find guys like that."

The 26-year-old right-hander has filled the roles of spot starter, long reliever, middle reliever, and pressure-situation specialist this year in Double-A. So far this season, he's impressed in every one.

McNab has been getting the job done with a devastating sinker, coercing ground balls from Eastern League hitters.

"He's a guy that doesn't go up and try to blow hitters away," said Brewer. "He's a guy that's going to rely on the sinking fastball to gain positive contact."

McNab's sinker is easily his bread and butter. When he is moving it in and out, it can be near impossible for hitters to get under, given the big league caliber drop in it.

"At times, it's major league average sink," Brewer said.

Through 11 appearances at Binghamton, McNab's numbers remain deceiving: 34 hits in 24.2 innings pitched and an average 4.38 ERA. A number of rough outings early in the season were not indicative of the pitcher McNab has been of late, one that Binghamton manager Juan Samuel is confident in as a stopper.

"He's the one guy for me," said Samuel, "that if I give him an inning, he'll keep the team in the lead."

McNab has worked hard to keep control of his sinking fastball, as well as the change-up and slider that round out his arsenal. The numbers justify his efforts, based on an astonishingly low two walks in 24.2 innings.

"I take pride in not walking a lot of guys," said McNab, "I'd rather guys try to hit the ball, than to come in there and try to strike everyone out."

Like the majority of pitching prospects in Double-A, McNab will have to demonstrate consistent control in order to set himself apart, and that's what he says his main focus will be for improvement.

"(The hitters) are mentally strong in this league, they're physically strong, and they're pretty good," McNab said. "I'm going to maintain a focus, and try to stay consistent throwing strikes."

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