In the middle of a bullpen that at
one time consisted of both unusually effective side arm throwers like Tim Haines and Joe Smith and strikeout artists like
Grady Hinchman and Jose De La Torre, the phenomenal season of Cyclones reliever Jeremy Mizell has gone completely unnoticed.
Leading the team in ERA with a stellar 0.43 through 21 innings, Mizell has been the unsung hero of Brooklyn’s bullpen this year.
“I been getting a few innings
here and there and been trying to do the best I can when they call on me,” said Mizell, who the Mets signed as a free
agent after he finished his college career at Southeastern Louisiana
University. “I’m pretty confident I’ve been doing my job so far.”
Growing up in Baton
Rouge Louisiana, Mizell feels the wild atmosphere the area is known for helped
him form his baseball persona, giving him an edge on the competition.
“We have some crazy people
down there; I know we have that reputation,” said Mizell who amazingly has registered only six walks so far this season.
“Growing up, there was always fierce competition and I think it definitely helped mold me into the pitcher you see on
In addition to having the sandlots
of Louisiana play a part in what he brings to the mound every night, Mizell
has also incorporated things he’s learned from the major leaguers he grew up watching.
“I’ve always looked up
to Roger Clemens because I like his attitude; give me the ball and I’m coming after you with everything I got. Some
days he gets beat, it’s not very often, but for the most part, he’s coming right after hitters and that’s
the kind of attitude I’ve always had,” said Mizell. “I’m going to come after you with my best stuff
and if you beat me, I’ll tip my hat to you.”
Even though Mizell’s competitive
attitude has been a blessing in late innings for Brooklyn this season, his ability to throw four pitches
[four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, changeup, and curve] for strikes has played an even bigger part in his success. While
he thinks he was already a solid pitcher before joining the team, Mizell feels Cyclones pitching coach Hector Berrios has
made him even better.
“Hector’s great, he’s
got so much knowledge and he’s been around the game so long. He’s always been around winning programs; just look
at his credentials,” said Mizell. “Every year he’s always got one of the best pitching staffs in the league
and this year is no different.”
Obviously downplaying what has been a fantastic
rookie season in professional baseball, Mizell isn’t the type to gloat about how great his numbers are. Rather, he would
shift the focus to the starters and closers that have been so successful for the Cyclones this season, acknowledging that
he understands how important his role on the team.
my role to come into games in late innings and get us out of jams,” said Mizell. “I’m just the guy that
bridges that gap between the starter and the closer.”