Spring training: Pirates finish off roster

Chavez added, Meek demoted despite lopsided performance levels

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BRADENTON , Fla. -- The Pirates yesterday completed their opening 25-man roster by naming one reliever to the team, Jesse Chavez, and optioning another, Evan Meek, to Class AAA Indianapolis.

The final decision clearly was not made on merit -- Meek had a 3.48 ERA, Chavez 11.45, and Meek was superior in every facet -- but management ran out of time to see if Meek was healthy. He last pitched March 20, then was shut down by, in order, shoulder soreness, the stomach flu and bronchitis. He twice had relief appearances scratched this week and never pitched more than a single inning or on back-to-back days.

"It was logic that won out over emotion," general manager Neal Huntington asid.

Meek, who had a brief -- and poor -- debut with the Pirates early last season, bounced back impressively at every level after that.

"I'm disappointed. I'm surprised," he said. "I understand about missing two weeks. Who wouldn't? It's just a lousy situation. I thought I was one of the best guys there and that I'd done everything they'd asked, so it hurts."

The team placed injured starter Phil Dumatrait on the 15-day disabled list, as had long been expected, leaving the following as the roster headed to St. Louis for the Monday opener:

Starting pitchers: Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Ian Snell, Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens

Relievers: Matt Capps, John Grabow, Tyler Yates, Sean Burnett, Craig Hansen, Donnie Veal, Chavez

Catchers: Ryan Doumit, Jason Jaramillo

Infielders: Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Adam LaRoche, Andy LaRoche, Ramon Vazquez, Luis Cruz

Outfielders: Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan, Brandon Moss, Eric Hinske, Craig Monroe

Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com .


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