The Pirates announced yesterday that they’ve optioned outfielder Austin Meadows to Triple-A Indianapolis. Long one of the game’s top prospects, Meadows posted solid but unspectacular numbers in Indianapolis this season before breaking into the Majors on an otherworldly tear. Through his first 83 plate appearances, Meadows hit .346/.373/.654 with five homers, five doubles and two triples. But, he went on to slash just .247/.291/.288 in his next 79 PAs and had been largely relegated to a bench role when he was finally optioned. General manager Neal Huntington told reporters (link via MLB.com’s Adam Berry) that the move to send Meadows down to the minors “probably happened two or three days later than ideally it would have,” but the team wanted to preserve its outfield depth and flexibility with a doubleheader on Saturday this weekend. “It’s in his best interest and our best interest to continue to grow and develop,” said Huntington of Meadows, who seems certain to factor into the team’s plans at the big league level once again at some point this season.
More on the Buccos…
- Francisco Cervelli hit the 7-day concussion DL for the fourth time in the past two seasons this past weekend, and there’s no indication as to when he’ll return just yet, writes Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. But while Cervelli recently worked out at first base and impressed manager Clint Hurdle with his instincts and athleticism there, the organization isn’t yet considering a move from behind the plate for Cervelli. Huntington stressed that, first and foremost, the immediate concern is getting Cervelli the best medical care he can as he battles through his current post-concussive symptoms. “There is concern that multiple concussions, where do we go long-term, but I’m not at that point where we need to or want to have those discussions just yet,” said Huntington. Cervelli, as Bloom notes, suggested earlier this season that he’d consider retirement if injuries ever forced him out from behind the plate.
- The Pirates’ 7-1 performance over the past week has put pressure on Huntington and the rest of the front office as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, writes Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Huntington spoke candidly last weekend when discussing the team’s situation, noting that with their record, the Pirates weren’t in position where a run of .500 ball would change their outlook. A sweep of the Brewers and a move to within five and a half games of a Wild Card spot, however, could at least move the Bucs from a definite seller to a team in “wait and see” mode as the deadline draws nearer. Huntington acknowledged as much, stating that the Pirates “need to do more” despite an excellent week of play. Indeed, the Pirates are still just 48-49 and nine games back in the NL Central, but their recent winning streak at least has the potential to alter their deadline approach.