It appears that Dyson just needs a little more time to toughen up in Double-A before he's ready for the big stage again.
"When he went up, he was probably a little shell shocked," New Hampshire manager Sal Fasano said. "He really didn't know that he was going to the big leagues or he'd pitched that well."
According to Fasano, Dyson never had any indication that he'd be getting the call so soon. The night he was called up, July 4th, he told Fisher Cats beat writer Kevin Gray that he had "shed a few tears." Getting to the bigs hadn't crossed his mind.
"A lot of times, Sammy [Dyson] doesn't really understand how good his stuff is sometimes," Fasano said. "So for him to be rewarded, he probably wasn't able to appreciate it until now."
His coaches believe that appreciation for that opportunity and his natural ability are the missing piece to the puzzle. Dyson has topped his sinker out at 99 mph this season. Not only is it fast, but it breaks at the knees. Hitters don't see it coming until they've swung and missed.
This was not the Sam Dyson
that showed up to the Toronto bullpen last month. Though he got out of his first appearance unscathed, earning his first strikeout against the Kansas City Royals, the heart of the Yankees lineup sent him packing for New Hampshire in five rough at-bats. He threw fifteen straight fastballs, only one of them reaching 95 mph, which Curtis Granderson hit for a single.
"He didn't really let the ball go," Signore said. "The velocity was 90-92 up there. Well normally he's a 93-97 guy, so I think he might have been a little tight."
Signore said that Dyson still needs to acquire a Major League breaking ball, something that could have come in handy when he was 15 pitches deep against the first place Yankees. However, what Dyson really needs to do is adapt to the pressure of the big leagues. The Jays want to see Dyson loosen up and let his powerful arm rip like it does in Manchester.
Since returning to Manchester, Dyson has pitched well, despite giving up four runs on Sunday against the New Britain Rock Cats. He's gotten the save in five of his last ten appearances.
"Sam Dyson hasn't missed a beat [since returning to the Fisher Cats]," Signore said. "He continues to work hard, and that's the kind of guy Sam [Dyson] is. He'll work hard, he'll fix what he needs to fix."
"Taking the edge off is a real hard thing to do [in the Majors]," Toronto's Pitching Coordinator said. "Handling the emotions up there is incredible.
"I think he learned something about that when he went up there, I think he's applying it from down here, knowing what to expect now more... and he'll be better for it next time."
Manchester, NH- It took a trip to Yankee Stadium but Sam Dyson's nerves finally met their match. There, the Bronx Bombers knocked in three runs off of an unusually slow sinker, at least by Dyson's 97 mph standards. The 24-year old has returned to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and he's fallen right back into form. His fastball is back to the high 90's and he's securing wins for his team.
Sam Dyson had a somewhat rough go of it in the bigs but he's pitching like he wants to get back.