Southpaw Dan Meyer appeared to be on the fast track to the majors at the age of 23. After being drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 2002 draft, he made his mark as a strikeout pitcher by sitting down more than one per inning on K's from '02 - '04. Combined with an ERA that never topped 2.87, the Braves were impressed enough to call him up for a cup of coffee that fall. He pitched two innings. That winter he was part of the trade that saw the Athletics ship Tim Hudson to the Braves.
He hasn't been the same since.
After spending all of '05 and '06 in the Oakland farm system, he rebounded in triple-A Sacramento last summer at 26. The strikeouts were back up, the home run rates were back down and the control had taken a big step in the right direction. Three years after his MLB debut he returned to the majors, appearing in six games and starting three, and generally suffering at the hands of professional hitters. This summer he was virtually replicating his triple-A numbers when Oakland called him up:
|Stat||AAA 2007||AAA 2008|
Since that recall Meyer has made two starts and five relief appearances, and before his last two stints was doing well. But overall he's again struggling, getting strikeouts but at times struggling to hit the strikezone and put hitters away. He's an extreme fly-ball pitcher (58.3%) who's susceptible to the long-ball, so hopefully tonight he'll hang a few sliders.
Trying to stem the tide will be Kevin Slowey, who's been huge for the Twins this month. In his last four starts (25 innings) he's allowed just five earned runs and walked just one batter. Kevin is good enough that if he can keep the A's on his game plan, he shouldn't have too much trouble. Of course, the problem is that exact thing could have been said for the last four games...of which the Twins have won one. And while we can bring up the White Sox, and how we hope Boston can take them out tonight, the bottom line is that Minnesota needs to start taking care of business, or this puppy will be over very, very soon.
|2008 - Dan Meyer||0-2||7||2||0||0||0||0||19.2||18||13||13||5||9||16||5.95||1.37|
|2008 - Kevin Slowey||10-8||21||21||3||2||0||0||127.2||120||54||53||17||17||96||3.74||1.07|