Stoner On Big League Shuttle

Stoner is on the shuttle between Buffalo and NY

BUFFALO, NY - Tobi Stoner's march toward the big leagues came to fruition in 2010 when he made his Mets debut in September. Now, the right-hander is not only the number one pitch on the Bisons staff, but he is likely the first arm called upon when the big league club needs another arm. That's fine with Stoner whose mentality and approach does not change whether in Buffalo or New York.

The life of a ball player can be hectic and it has become a rule of thumb these days to keep a bag packed just in case.

Buffalo Bisons starting pitcher Tobi Stoner learned that lesson last season when he played for three different teams within the Mets organization in 2009. He started out in Binghamton and then was brought up to Buffalo and finished the season with the Mets.

Stoner relished his time in New York but he noticed the different level of play in the big leagues.

"It was overwhelming," Stoner said. "It was the same game that we played while I was here but it was just amplified a little bit more. There are bigger crowds and more is on the line."

In four games with the Mets, Stoner posted a 4.00 ERA in nine innings and gave up nine runs. He believes that pressure is only a state of mind.

"There was more excitement," Stoner said. "Pressure is what you put on yourself. It's the same game I've been playing since I was little and you still have to throw the ball 60-feet, 6-inches. You still have to throw strikes."

While with the Mets, the 25-year-old learned a few valuable lessons and continues to reap the benefits of them to this day. He took notice of his teammates and how they interacted with the media.

Stoner watched closely after games and paid attention to how each player acted in interviews. He also received a few life lessons and learned how to carry himself off the field as well as how to perform on it.

"Some of those guys had the same type of stuff I do," Stoner said. "Watching how they use their repertoire and how I could possibly use mine was something I took away from it."

He has taken that experience and grown from it and now his confidence is at an all-time high. That belief and execution of his skills helped him become the Bisons opening day starter and ace in the rotation.

Guys in the clubhouse can learn from where Stoner has been and he relishes the opportunity to be a leader.

"I like to try and be a leader," Stoner said. "I came out [in the opener] throwing the ball well and I want to continue to do that. It was an honor to be the opening day starter for the Bisons."

In two games with Buffalo this season, Stoner is still searching for his first win and posts an 0-1 record. He has a 4.32 ERA and has pitched 8.1 innings, striking out five and walking three.

Stoner feels that although he hasn't picked up a victory just yet, it will come because of how talented the guys around him are.

"Winning is important and being a team player is important," Stoner said. "In Buffalo right now, the team unity is great. We are all on the same page and everyone supports one another. We know we have a good team."

Stoner is the type of guy that is going to leave it all out on the field. He brings everything he has with him into every game and his attitude is contagious.

"I'm a guy that's going to go out there and throw until I can't throw anymore," Stoner said. "I'm going to pitch every start like it's my last and I'm going to try an attack hitters and get people out."

It is his attitude combined with his repertoire that have pushed him onto the 40-man roster and the first guy the front office will upon when the big league team needs an extra arm. That was evident just this weekend when Stoner was recalled to New York on Sunday following the Mets' 20-inning marathon.

Stoner was sent back to Buffalo in the wake of Ike Davis' promotion, but the right-hander will remain ready for the next time the big league team comes calling.

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