Pirates claim Jonathan Meloan

UPDATE 5:22 PM: Tyler Yates was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to make room for Meloan. The following pages have been updated:

-2009 40-man roster/payroll
-Future Payroll Commitments
-2009 25-man roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed right handed reliever Jonathan Meloan off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to the Tampa Tribune. Meloan, who is 6’3″, 225 pounds, was designated for assignment by the Rays on the 7th. He has been on the move a lot in the last two seasons. A time line for Meloan:

December 3rd, 2007: Rated by Baseball America as the number eight prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers system going in to the 2008 season. Said to have a 89-94 MPH fastball, and a mid-80s slider, with the potential to be a power set-up man.

July 26th, 2008: Traded with catcher Carlos Santana to the Cleveland Indians for Casey Blake.

December 2008: Rated the number 18 prospect in the Cleveland Indians system by Baseball America. Said to have a 92-95 MPH fastball in the bullpen, with a two pitch approach in relief (sinking fastball, and a hard breaking ball as his out pitch).

July 2nd, 2009: Traded by Cleveland to Tampa Bay for Winston Abreu.

August 7th, 2009: Designated for assignment by Tampa Bay.

Meloan has pitched 198.1 innings at AAA over the last two and a half seasons, making 82 appearances and 22 starts. In that time he has a 4.58 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and a 184:105 K/BB ratio with a 0.8 HR/9 ratio. He hasn’t seen much time in the majors, pitching just 9.1 innings the last two seasons.

Before the 2008 season, Meloan was mostly used as a reliever. In his time up to AA he had a 2.51 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 14.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9 in 136.1 innings pitched, making just nine starts in 72 appearances. He spent a lot of time starting in the 2008 season with Los Angeles, but has been moved back to the bullpen since. Taking out his time with the Dodgers at the start of the 2008 season (when he made 20 starts in 21 appearances), Meloan has a 4.15 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, and a 1.1 HR/9 at AAA in 93.1 innings pitched, mostly in relief.

Meloan is a project, who could turn in to a solid reliever if he fixes his control. He has one option left after the 2009 season, so the Pirates could keep him at AAA until the 2011 season, at which point he still has six years of control left. He’s 25 years old right now, so he still has time to turn his control around. The move is a gamble, similar to the Evan Meek addition last year (25 year old reliever, solid talent, but poor control holding him back). Let’s hope the Pirates can do the same with Meloan as they did with Meek.

I’m not going to update the 40-man roster/payroll page until I find out who will be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Meloan (my guess is Tyler Yates will be moved to the 60-day DL).

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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