New York Mets: Michael Wacha embraced technology to improve his game thanks to his dad

Andres Chavez
Simeon Woods-Richardson
Mar 23, 2019; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; A view of the Grapefruit League logo on the hat of New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like Michael Wacha has been around for ages. He was, after all, the MVP of the National League Championship Series back in 2013. But believe it or not, he is still only 28 years old. The New York Mets didn’t care about his 2019 struggles (4.76 ERA, 5.61 FIP) and signed him to a one-year deal this offseason. They believe he can return to form.

And Wacha himself explained to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News that he has worked to fix his mechanics. He believes they got “out of whack” over the last couple of years.

As he told Thosar, Wacha wasn’t one for using technology to improve his performance, but with the help of his father Tom, he has decided to do it this winter.

He showed up to spring training throwing harder than at any point in the last year. It started by watching and analyzing videos of his mechanics with his dad.

The Mets have faith in him

Tom was the one who pulled up videos of Michael’s 2019 starts with the St. Louis Cardinals. They both looked at critical things such as release point, spin rate, arm slot and other mechanics.

“I’ve always just been like, I’m going to out-compete this guy,” Wacha said earlier in March. “I usually take it on myself and not really understand — OK, that’s a bad pitch because of this, and maybe this will work better because of the spin rate or the ride on this pitch.”

It all started before he signed with the New York Mets. After initially being on the outside looking for a rotation spot given that the team had Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz and fellow free agent signing Rick Porcello, he is now a sure thing to be in the top five because of Thor’s injury.

“My dad definitely pulled up quite a bit of the videos,” Wacha said. “He’s got some websites — I don’t even know where he looks it up. He’s got my release points at certain times during the year when I’m not pitching good. He was definitely getting into it this offseason and passing along some information to me. I think it was very helpful for sure.”

Wacha will try to improve on his 4.76 ERA and 1.563 WHIP. Let’s hope there is a season and he has a shot to do it.