First Pitch: Who Could Replace Meek on the Roster?

After tonight’s game, the Pirates optioned Evan Meek to Triple-A. The team will make a corresponding move tomorrow.

Clint Hurdle prefers to have two left-handers, so the favorites to replace Meek are Daniel Moskos and Doug Slaten. Moskos is on the 40-man roster, so no corresponding move would need to be made. Slaten is not on the 40-man roster, so a spot would have to be cleared if he was added.

Statistically, Slaten has had a much better year than Moskos in Triple-A.  He’s got a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings, with an 8:3 K/BB ratio. Moskos has a 3.68 ERA in 7.1 innings, with a 6:7 K/BB ratio. Surprisingly, the struggles for Moskos this year have been against left handers, with a .333 BAA. Slaten has a .200 BAA versus left handers, and a .107 vs right handers.

Slaten does have the advantage of being a few years older than Moskos, and having more experience. But that experience includes a career .241 BAA and a .666 OPS against left handers in the majors.

If the Pirates went with a right hander, the options include Daniel McCutchen, Bryan Morris, or Jared Hughes. Hughes isn’t eligible to return to the majors until Wednesday, since he was optioned to Triple-A on the 21st. Tomorrow would be the end of his normal ten day period in the minors, but the Pirates called him up for a double header last week, extending his stay in the minors one more day.

McCutchen has a 3.52 ERA in 15.1 innings, with a 12:4 K/BB ratio. He’s mostly pitched in extended relief outings.

Morris is a dark horse candidate. He has a 5.59 ERA in 9.2 innings. However, his stats are much more dominant. He has a .211 BAA, a ground out of 5.33:1, and has an 11:2 K/BB ratio. He was throwing 93-95 MPH over the weekend, with a nice curveball and a sharp cutter that he’s added this year. Morris will be out of options next year, so the Pirates will need to see what they have in him at some point this year.

My guess would be Doug Slaten, due to his numbers this year, and his success in the majors against left-handers. I think Hurdle’s preference for two left handers also points toward Slaten.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates won 9-3 against the Braves. Game story here.

**Prospect Watch: Gerrit Cole threw six shutout innings, striking out six.

**Jeff Locke threw seven shutout innings for Indianapolis today. My live recap.

**Jameson Taillon was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week.

**A rundown of the draft prospects from the last week.

**Pirates Notebook: Young Arms Learning From Burnett. Also a look at Joel Hanrahan.

**The Pirates Prospect Trends from the last week.

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If they want to give Clint the opportunity to intrude even more into each game, they will bring up the lefty.  If they really think they have some chance at competing, it will be Slaten.  That would be the worst of all possible moves, at least as it relates to relief pitchers.  

If they must go with a lefty, which is the manager thing, it should be Moskos.  Slaten is nothing more than a soft tossing lefty, journeyman.  Again, if they must have a lefty, they should go with the young pitcher.

Personally, I would rather see Morris, just to see what he can do in a relief role in the majors.

Tim, I have to give your props, you were right (as the team was) to keep Pedro in the 25 man roster. 


Does the ten day rule really apply to that 26th man roster exception? That seems a bit unfair.


Moskos’s struggle vs. LHB isn’t much of a surprise, he gave up a .869 ops to LH last year versus a .603 against RHP in the bigs.

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