Pittsburgh Pirates: “Best 25 Men” Going North

Jim SimmonsContributor IApril 4, 2009

Jessie Chaves gets the final roster spot over Evan Meek.

Meek had pitched pretty well during the spring, but he just had some unfortunate events that have led him to be returned to the minors.

Chavez, and his 11.45 ERA, makes the team.

Meek, who after a March 20th appearance, missed a week with a tired shoulder. Just as he was cleared to come back, the righty was hit with the stomach flu and then with bronchitis.

There is no question that Meek out pitched Chavez in the spring. Meek will get his time in at AAA, and very well could find himself right back with the Bucs.

“It was ultimately that logic won out over emotion. In this case, Evan threw the ball very well. He threw it with velocity, with stuff, with command and he had gotten results. That was tough to walk away from, given especially how things have gone this spring.

“Jesse’s stretched out. The results aren’t where they need to be or truthfully where we want them to be, but as we get into St. Louis and get into Cincinnati, it’s tough for JR to call down Evan asking him to do something that the Major League level that he hasn’t done in Spring Training yet.

"We wanted to hang on as long as we could because he had shown signs of improvement. But in the end, we decided we needed to do the right thing for him and for us and go get him stretched out and go get him some back-to-back outings.” -GM Neal Huntington

Being a long time Bucs fan, I cannot think back on a time where the Pirates have made a decision based on protecting a player. Meek is obviously in the Pirates long term plans, and they are making good decisions.

I like the move, for the fact that management is doing what's best for the player and the team, rather than rushing Meek into the mix.