Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Players on the Move, Baby Bucs

-- Evan Meek suffered a left oblique strain last night and was placed on the 15-day DL; he's expected to miss at least a month. The Pirates brought back human yo-yo Steven Jackson from AAA Indianapolis to replace him. He's 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in 20 games during two previous stints with the Pirates.

-- LHP Phil Dumatrait made his fifth rehab start on Tuesday. He allowed just one earned run in his six innings of work for Indy. The Pirates can give him one more outing or bring him up now; they're still undecided.

-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette reports a couple of Bucco moves. RHP Bryan Morris has been taken off suspension for yapping at an ump and will pitch tonight.

The Pirates also claimed 25 year-old AAA reliever John Meloan off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays. The RHP had a 5.52 ERA in 25 appearances with Columbus, Cleveland's AAA squad, and a 3.38 ERA in 10 appearances with Durham of the Rays for an overall 5.02 ERA, with no decisions this season.

Meloan is a converted starter, and he features a low-90s four seam fastball that he can cut around 90 mph and has a big breaking low 80s curveball. He was a fifth round draft pick of the Dodgers in 2005, and was a top ten prospect in their organization during the 2007-08 seasons.

He went on the 40-man roster when Tyler Yates was placed on the 60-day DL, but Dumatrait is due back soon. The 40-man doesn't have any openings, so someone is going to have to go.

-- Indy RHP Eric Hacker has been named the International League's Pitcher of the Week for August 3-9. The 26-year-old went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA (3 ER in 13.0 IP) and 14 strikeouts in two starts during the stretch.

Hacker has gone 5-3 with a 3.20 ERA in 15 starts with Indy, giving him a combined 5-4 record with a 3.95 ERA in 18 IL games between the Pirate and Yankees top farm clubs.

-- Jose Tabata continues to be successful since joining Indy. The 20-year old has collected at least one hit in eight of his nine games, including five multi-hit performances, and is batting .385 with a homer.

-- In a dozen games with Indy, DH Jeff Clement has a line of .283/6/9.

-- Brian Bixler went 1-for-4 with an RBI double for Indy last night and has now reached base in 21 consecutive contests, including his current team best 13-game hitting streak.

During his current run, Bixler is batting .357 (31-for-88) with 17 runs, four triples, six home runs, 17 RBI and two stolen bases. BB is batting .359 (28-for-78) with 32 RBI when runners are in scoring position, both team highs over that period.

-- Over his last 11 games, Indy 3B Neil Walker has exploded offensively as the 2008 Indians MVP has batted .405 (17-for-42) with seven runs, five doubles, three home runs, 17 RBI and a stolen base.

-- At Altoona, Pedro Alvarez has a .331/8/26 line in 41 games. The numero uno has 42 strikeouts and drawn 19 walks in 151 at-bats.

-- Jim Callas of Baseball America likes the Pirates 2009 draft.
"Kudos to the Pirates. Small-revenue clubs can't compete with big-revenue teams for big league free agents, so they have to build aggressively through the draft, and that's exactly what Pittsburgh has done"

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