"I wasn't as aggressive as I normally am," Melancon said when asked what went wrong in Boston. "I made some bad pitches and my curveball wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.
"The biggest thing is just aggressiveness and throwing inside," the righty said about turning things around in Pawtucket. "The curveball has really clicked [so that's helped a lot]."
In 1 app3earances for the Paw Sox, Melancon has been able to show his true potential. He has thrown 13 innings, giving up just nine hits and walking none. His WHIP is an incredible 0.69 and he has not yet given up a run.
"It's no secret, he didn't throw very well [in Boston]," manager Arnie Beyeler said about Melancon's performance in the majors. "It's different up there.
"He's not throwing to Triple-A hitters, he's throwing to the Rangers and the Tigers that are on fire and…it's hard to work on things there because every time he gets put in the game, the game is on the line.
"He gets to throw down here. We get to put the reins on him a little bit and structure his innings a little bit down here and let him have a couple innings to just throw. I think it's about pitch quality.
"He's an aggressive guy, a back-end of the bullpen kind of guy, and you've got to be aggressive to pitch back there. You can't get behind…and you've got to locate. I think he's fine, though. I think he's in a good place right now and we're just waiting for the phone to ring and get him back [to Boston]."
It is understandable for Melancon to express a bit of disappointment after a rough start to the season in Boston. However, his performance in Pawtucket has rekindled a sense of confidence in the Colorado native that is of incredible importance in the game of baseball.
"Nobody said this was an easy road, but I've just been trying to take the opportunity to try and work on things and learn from my experiences," said the twenty-seven year old about his confidence level.
"Confidence comes with getting guys out," Beyeler said when asked to share his view of Melancon's confidence level. "He wanted the ball on the first night and he went out there, got some people out, and he's locating pitches where he wants them. I think his confidence is good. He's been getting people out…and that'll make you feel like you trust your stuff."
It is clear that Melancon has benefited, thus far, from his stint with the Paw Sox. Even though, as Beyeler said, it is different facing Triple-A batters than it is facing major league players; however, the Pawtucket coaches agree that with the Arizona graduate's talent, he will not stay in Pawtucket long.
"He's throwing exceptionally well. He's throwing inside more and has better location with his fastball lower in the zone. He's mixed in a changeup now and it's a quality changeup. If you put all that together, you're going to have a positive outcome," pitching Coach Rich Sauveur said about the pitches Melancon has displayed.
"I have seen a sharp curveball. There's no doubt about it, it's a good pitch, and an out-pitch, for him. I've seen no signs that that's an issue."
The sentiments of Mark Melancon
, Arnie Beyeler, and Rich Sauveur all convey the same message — that even though the relief pitcher struggled early this season in Boston, he'll make his way back there.
"We talked a lot about what he wanted to do and I think he's performed very, very well. He has succeeded in what he came here to do. Now it's just a matter of when he [gets out of here]," Sauveur said about the 6-foot-2, 215 pound righty's return to Boston.
The Boston Red Sox sent reliever Mark Melancon to Triple-A Pawtucket on April 18 after he gave up three home runs without recording an out in an 18-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. In four appearances for Boston, Melancon pitched two innings and gave up ten hits and eleven earned runs. With the rest of the bullpen struggling as well, it was clear Melancon needed some work.
Mark Melancon had a rough go of it in Boston but he's turning things around in Pawtucket.