Indians Ryan Merritt Ready For The Biggest Stage of His Rookie Season
The Cleveland Indians will face the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series and one thing is for sure, one team will end a long suffering drought of not winning the title. But before the game even begins on Tuesday night, there will be many story lines to hit social media and one that has a great feel to it is the surprise emergence of a pitcher that appeared in just four regular season games and has become an important figure on Cleveland’s pitching staff.
Ryan Merritt was signed by the Indians in the 16th round (488th overall) of the 2011 June MLB Draft and spent the following six seasons moving through Cleveland’s minor league system.
The southpaw, who is a native of McKinney, Texas was 45-31, with a 3.39 ERA in 120 career games in the minors. He made his major league debut on May 30th against the Texas Rangers in relief and tossed 4.1 shutout innings, allowing just one hit, and striking out two.
After appearing in one inning of relief on August 4th and 2/3 of an inning on September 12th, the 24-year old earned his first victory in his first major league start on September 30th. In that game he tossed five innings, allowing one run on five hits, no walks, with four strikeouts. Actually in 11 MLB innings, he has a 1.64 ERA, allowing just two runs, on six hits, no walks and six strikeouts.
Fast forward to October 19th against the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2016 ALCS, Merritt started Game 5 and gave the Indians what they needed, with 4.2 shutout innings, allowing just two hits, no walks and three strikeouts, while leading the team to an AL Pennant.
Now as the Indians look to finally win a title that has taken 68 years reach, and avoid being that team that lost to the Chicago Cubs, Merritt finds himself in the middle of an epic series.
Beyond Game 1, when Corey Kluber will take the mind for the Tribe, the rest of the rotation has yet to be set, but the Indians know that if an important start is needed, that Merritt can get the job done.
The 2016 World Series will be an epic battle on both sides of the diamond, and Indians fans can be sure that Ryan Merritt has been waiting his whole adult life for the moment and ready to help the team win.
“It’s going to be an honor, really, just to be able to pitch in the World Series, and try to give the Indians another chance to win,” Merritt told reporters after the Indians Game 5 series clinching victory.
When Cleveland fans found about Merritt’s Wedding Registry, they decided to purchase gifts for the happy couple.