Meadows finally gets the call
By John Mehno
For the Mirror
PITTSBURGH — Austin Meadows is finally in the major leagues.
The Pirates announced during Thursday night’s 5-4 victory over San Diego that Meadows would be recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis and will be in uniform for tonight’s game with the Padres.
It is expected Starling Marte will be placed on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle that he sustained while playing on Tuesday.
Manager Clint Hurdle declined to specify his plans for Meadows.
“You know what, (that’s a) great conversation for tomorrow,” Hurdle said after the game. “Our intent is to call him up, and when he shows up we’ll have all the conversations you want about him. We’ll wait until then.”
Meadows, 23, was the Pirates’ No. 1 draft pick in 2013, the ninth player selected in that draft.
His career has been slowed by a series of injuries.
Meadows is currently hitting .294 (37-for-126) with 10 doubles, one home run, 15 runs batted in, 20 runs scored and eight stolen bases this season at Indianapolis.
He has also hit safely in each of his last seven games with Indianapolis, going 13-for-33 (.394) with four doubles and seven RBIs during that streak.
Meadows has played all three outfield positions at Indianapolis, including 30 games in center field.
Sean Rodriguez has started in the two games Marte has missed this week.
Especially with a limited bench, Hurdle prefers to have Rodriguez available to fill a utility role.
“I don’t want to put him a position where he has to play (center) for two straight weeks,” Hurdle said. “I don’t think that would be healthy for him or healthy for us.”
David Freese started for the second consecutive game at third base.
Hurdle said there’s no issue with Colin Moran, who has gotten most of the starts at third.
“It’s giving David one more chance against a lefthander to get jump started,” Hurdle said. “Get things back going. He’s hit lefthanders his entire career, not so much right now.”
Rookie Edgar Santana earned his first major league win on Wednesday afternoon, coming into a bases-loaded jam and escaping.
As has been a custom this season, teammates celebrated the occasion by dousing Santana with whatever liquids were available in the clubhouse.
“For me, that was one of the best things,” Santana said. “Every time I go out there, I try to help the team win. But when you win, that’s something that’s really special. It was so exciting.”
He got his second win on Thursday, throwing two pitches.
Santana has been especially effective recently, helped stabilize some of the pitching that sets things up for closer Felipe Vazquez. Santana has had nine consecutive scoreless outings.
“I’ve been trusting in myself a lot,” Santana said. “(Bullpen coach Euclides Rojas) has been helping me a lot. He says that good pitchers don’t give too much credit to the hitters. Just trust in yourself and try to make your pitch.”
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org