Having been designated for assignment by the organization in mid-May, right-hander Evan Meek was already pitching for the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A Norfolk affiliate. The team elected to outright him off their 40-man roster last Wednesday and Meek has accepted the assignment, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, and will remain with the organization rather than test the free agent waters.
#Orioles RHP Evan Meek accepted his outright assignment to AAA Norfolk instead of electing free agency.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 1, 2014
The 31 year old had initially joined the Orioles on a one year, $800,000 deal just before the start of spring training as a free agent. Through 12 appearances with Baltimore he’d struggled out of the bullpen, posting a 6.94 ERA and 1.629 WHIP across 11.2 innings of work. His peripheral numbers (6.9 K/9, 4.6 BB/9) weren’t much better.
In 10 appearances at Norfolk he’s pitched better. His strikeout rate is up to 7.7 K/9, but more importantly he’s limiting the walks – allowing just 0.8 BB/9. Meek is still allowing runners to score, with a 4.63 ERA, but he hasn’t been a train wreck on the mound as he was with Baltimore.
Meek has been relatively inconsistent for much of his career. He’d debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008 after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft from the Tampa Bay Rays before developing into an All Star pitcher two seasons later. That year he’d finish with a 2.14 ERA and 1.080 WHIP over 80.0 IP for the Pirates, easily his career best marks. Two seasons later he had pitched himself back to the minor leagues and ultimately into free agency after the team released him following the season. Meek signed with the Texas Rangers a year ago, but spent all of 2013 at Triple-A.