BRADENTON, Fla. -- When Clint Hurdle became Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, he had only seen from a far, heard, and watched Evan Meek's solid 2010 season. The Evan Meek that Hurdle saw in person during the 2011 season was nothing like the All-Star prior.
The reliever he once was during 2010 hit 95-97 with his fastball regularly on the gun, while posting a 2.14 ERA over a career-high 70 appearances (80.0 innings). During the 2011 season, Meek battled right shoulder tendonitis for most of the year, appearing in just 24 games with Pittsburgh.
"Hurdle was with Texas [as the team's hitting coach] in 2010," Meek said. "He knows that year, but he’s never seen it for himself. It was really disappointing for me to come into last year with high expectations of myself, to go out there last year, and do what I did. I feel like I’m ahead now then I was last year."
The Pirates selected Meek in 2007 off the Tampa Bay Ray's Rule 5 draft. That season Meek posted a 4.30 ERA over 67.0 innings...