It's been a wild start to the year for 2011 second-round pick Anthony Meo at Hi-A Visalia. Aggressively skipped past Low-A ball, Meo has certainly been able to miss bats, striking out 24 and allowing just 14 hits in 17.2 innings through his first four appearances. On the down side, though, Meo has struggled with his control, walking 17 in that same span. Viewed by some as a potential reliever, Meo's wildness perhaps continued to fuel that speculation, especially with so much starting pitching depth throughout the system. However, Meo found the strike zone with consistency on Sunday, and the results were his best outing as professional:
Snakelet of the Day:
Anthony Meo (Hi-A): 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 9:1 K:BB, 5:5 GO:AO
Triple-A: Reno 9, Salt Lake 5. (10-14) The big blow in this one came early for the Aces, as Ryan Wheeler crushed a grand slam in the top of the first - shortly followed by a solo shot from Konrad Schmidt - as part of a five-run lead spotted to starter Zach Kroenke before he took the mound for his first-inning warm-up tosses. This being the PCL, that lead would need to be added to, but the Aces put up three more in the sixth, in part due to a two-run homer from Randy Ruiz, to put this one out of reach, even after the Bees tacked on a fifth run against Kroenke, who ended his night with 6.2 innings pitched and five runs allowed (four earned). Adam Eaton and Taylor Harbin each added doubles to the Aces cause, while Mike DeMark, Bryan Woodall, and Sam Demel combined for 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Demel lowered his ERA to 3.86 on the year with his scoreless frame, improving his K:BB to 8:2.
Double-A: Mobile 2, Chattanooga 8. (14-11) Making the spot-start for Mobile was right-hander Brett Lorin, covering lefty Patrick Corbin's spot while Corbin waits for his major-league debut today. Lorin got through the first three innings with a shutout, striking out three with no walks, but ran into some trouble in the fourth, allowing a two-run home run to Travis Denker. Lorin's final line: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 K, 1 HR. Lorin was replaced by right-hander Kevin Munson, who turned in another disappointing outing. The hard-throwing reliever allowed six runs (all earned) in 1.2 innings of work, surrendering five hits, two walks, and a homer while striking out two. With a 14.29 ERA in 11.1 innings this year and 16 ER allowed in his last three appearances (4 IP, 36.00 ERA), it might be time to start wondering if Munson is physically okay. On the offensive side of things, Matt Davidson got past an 0-3, 3 K start to this game and cranked a home run in the ninth, while Brent Clevlen had three hits, including a double. Marc Krauss also chipped in a double for Mobile.
Hi-A: Visalia 5, San Jose 1. (10-14) Meo controlled this game from the get-go, not allowing a baserunner until he hit catcher Andrew Susac with a pitch in the fourth inning. Meo ran into trouble with the fifth allowing his run in that inning on four singles, but got a fly ball with two out and the bases loaded to end the threat and limit the damage to the single run. Meo wasn't threatened again, seemingly pulled because of pitch count concerns, as he had sandwiched a ground ball single with a pair of swinging strikeouts in the seventh before making way for Mike Belfiore. Belfiore continued his domination the Cal League this year, striking out three of the five batters he faced in his 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Blake Cooper threw a scoreless ninth to seal the victory.
On the offensive side of things, Jonathan Griffin was the star of the day, collecting a walk and two hits, including a big two-run home run in the bottom of the first to give Visalia a quick 3-0 lead over the Giants. Bobby Borchering added a double to the mix, while Ryan LaPensee had two hits and a stolen base.
Low-A: The Silver Hawks were rained out on Sunday, and will play two on Tuesday to make it up.