Pirates Promote Rick VandenHurk, Chase d'Arnaud, Bryan Morris; DFA Evan Meek

July 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Evan Meek (47) pitches against during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Chicago Cubs won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The mild surprises here, of course, are the promotion of Rick VandenHurk and the DFA of Evan Meek. Last week, we heard about VandenHurk's transformation into a strong Class AAA pitcher, thanks to a new a three-quarters arm slot. It looks like he has, in fact, pitched his way into the Pirates' plans, while Meek, whose roster spot VandenHurk is taking, has pitched his way out of them. It will be interesting to get a look at VandenHurk over the next few weeks, because there seems to be at least some chance he'll end up starting for the Bucs year.

Meek had decent numbers at Indianapolis, but he had control issues even there, and I don't think the Pirates really believe in his stuff anymore, since he doesn't throw as hard as he used to -- his velocity was off more than two MPH this year compared to where it was in 2010.

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