McNab Wants to Throw More Pitches

New Orleans right-hander Tim McNab enters his seventh season in the organization, beginning the season in Triple-A for the first time in his career. Known for his sinker which has carried him to this point, he wants to develop the rest of his repertoire with thoughts that it will take him to the next level.

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Veteran pitcher of the Mets' system, Tim McNab faced seven batters and gave up just one hit in the Zephyrs 2-0 victory Saturday over the Nashville Sounds. McNab is trying to bring consistency to his game as well as solidify his role in Triple-A and make a move for the big leagues.

Last season he appeared on the mound 16 times for Binghamton before moving up to New Orleans in July. The middle reliever's specialty, the sinker ball, helped him do well in his 11 appearances with the Zephyrs in 2007. However he will need to get as comfortable and as consistent with his other pitches as he is with his sinker before he can get the call up to the Mets. This season McNab is working on solidifying all of his pitches and reducing his reliance on his sinker.

"Well since I've been around for a while, it's about getting that consistency factor. Go in there and get your consistent outs, most importantly, using your pitches effectively, whatever your repertoire is make sure that is as consistent as it can be," McNab said.

While McNab is consistent in getting double plays from right-handers, he has difficulty facing left-handed hitters. Last season he had a .333 average against lefties. Much of his problem in facing lefties derives from his reliance on his sinker. He realizes that in order to be successful in Triple A and in the big leagues, good command is needed in pitching to both left and right-handed hitters.

"Right-handers, I always had success against," he said. "But with lefties, to make that big league jump you are going to have to pitch to them just as effectively as you do to right-handers. But you have to take the same approach just like if you were facing a rightie, even though lefties just hit that spot more than right-handers, so they can just flip stuff out to right field a lot more easily than a right-hander."

To be effective against left-handed hitters, McNab is working on his ability to pitch inside and mix up his pitches, just as he does against right-handed hitters. One of the ways he can improve against left-handed hitters is by relying less on his sinker and being more confident in his changeup.

McNab's changeup is a relatively new pitch to him, as he came to professional baseball without one. But making it to the big leagues without a changeup was going to be challenging, so the Mets suggested he develop one to increase his chances at making it to the next level. McNab described a changeup as a "have to pitch, and need" one that can't be missing from a good pitcher's repertoire.

"At first it was very inconsistent," he said of his changeup. "But it was one of those things and I had to keep throwing it whether it got a hit or a ball. I have it to the point now where I can throw for strikes."

In Saturday's game against Nashville, McNab showed his confidence in his changeup as he threw it 5 out of the 18 pitches he delivered in his first inning pitching this season. Now that he is comfortable with his changeup, McNab is working on fine tuning the pitch, getting it to the inside or outside of the plate, just as he does for his sinker.

"Now it's the point where I need to start getting it to the inside or outside part of the plate. I just have to hit it there and let the pitch do its work"

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