Pirates demote former All-Star Evan Meek to Triple-A

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Two years ago Evan Meek was an All-Star, but yesterday the Pirates demoted the 28-year-old right-hander to the minors after he allowed runs in four of nine outings to begin the season.

To call Meek a former All-Star is technically correct and also fairly misleading, since even in that 2010 season he was basically just a good setup man who got the nod as the Pirates’ representative.

However, it’s also worth noting that his performance early on this season was hardly disastrous enough to warrant a demotion to Triple-A at age 28 and with five years of big-league experience under his belt.

He posted a 5.59 ERA in 9.2 innings, but had a solid 6/1 K/BB ratio and Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that his velocity has risen recently after Meek missed much of last season with injuries. Deserved or not Meek took the demotion in stride, saying all the right things and talking about how the Pirates “are giving me opportunities to get back to where we need to be.”

Kris Bryant hit in head with pitch, exits game vs. Rockies

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Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant left Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rockies after he was hit in the head by a German Marquez fastball in the top of the first inning. Manager Joe Maddon and a trainer came out to steady Bryant before helping him off the field.

Bryant passed concussion tests, but will continue to be evaluated, the Cubs announced. He has a small laceration above his eye from his sunglasses when he was hit.

Entering Sunday’s action, Bryant was hitting .319/.461/.536 with a pair of home runs and 11 RBI in 89 plate appearances.