NEW YORK — Pardon Alex Meyer if he feels a little out of place sometime early in Saturday’s game against the New York Mets.
Meyer will be stepping to the plate in a game for the first time since 2008.
When he was in high school.
“Indiana wasn’t really a hotbed for baseball, so I didn’t see too many guys bringing it in there,” the Angels right-hander said. “But we’ll see. I’m excited. It’ll definitely be an experience.”
It’s unlikely that any of the Indiana teenagers Meyer saw a decade ago, or the coaches and pitching machines he’s seen in a scattered practice sessions since, will be able to approximate the Mets’ Zack Wheeler.
Still, Meyer is going to have to give it a shot, as will his other rotation teammates over the next week and a half. The Angels play six of their 10 games in National League parks during the three-city trip that begins on Friday in New York. Next weekend they face the Miami Marlins.
They began prepping for it a few weeks ago, with some batting practice. Asked how the “pitcher’s hitting” was going, Manager Mike Scioscia wrinkled his face and said: “With Ricky Nolasco, it’s definitely ‘pitchers’ hitting.’ With some of the other guys, it’s ‘pitchers’ swinging.’ ”
Nolasco, who starts Friday, has spent nine years of his career as a starter in the NL, eight with the Marlins and one with the Dodgers. He has 51 hits in 377 at-bats, a .135 average. He even has one home run, in 2006.
Meyer does not have a professional at-bat, having spent most of his career either in the minors or the AL. Pitchers hit in the minors only when two NL affiliates play in Double-A or Triple-A. Meyer said he took a little batting practice when he was in Class-A with the Washington Nationals, just in case he got moved up. He was then traded to the Minnesota Twins, and he’s been in the AL ever since.
Jesse Chavez is second to Nolasco with 14 plate appearances. He’s got one hit and 10 strikeouts in 11 at-bats…