There’s nothing wrong with pitching prospects learning how to work out of jams.
That’s what happened to Class AA New Britain righthander Alex Meyer on Thursday against New Hampshire. The Twins top pitching prospect had the bases loaded with one out in the second inning, then had runners on second and third with one out in the third, but managed to get out of those innings with no damage.
Meyer finished with one earned run over six innings on eight hits and one walk while striking out seven. Through four starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA.
“One of the things we have seen is that he gets tougher when runners are in scoring position,” Rock Cats manager Jeff Smith said. “In the big situations he gets a little tougher and that says something about his makeup.”
Meyer’s fastball was clocked from 93-97 miles per hour. Smith said Meyer’s changeup continues to improve, but he’s a fan of Meyer’s sinking fastball.
“It’s one of those hard, boring fastballs,” Smith said. “Not only does it have velocity, it comes down hard.”
May makes gains
The Twins want to see righthander Trevor May, Meyer’s teammate and another of their top pitching prospects, cut down on walks. May has walked 13 batters and struck out 22 in 21 ⅓ innings, but saw progress on Wednesday when he pitched a seven-inning shutout as the Rock Cats beat New Hampshire 5-0.
He walked three more batters, but two came in the first inning when he loaded the bases with two outs before getting out of the jam and dominating the rest of the way.
“That was his best outing of the year,” Smith said.
May has a low-to-mid 90s fastball to go with a very good changeup, slider and curve. He also mixes in a cut fastball.
• Righthander Bobby Lanigan has been promoted to Class AAA Rochester from New Britain to replace righthander Anthony Slama, who landed on the disabled list because of a lower back strain.
• Shortstop Levi Michael, the Twins’ first round pick in 2011, was activated off the DL (right shoulder) and made his season debut Thursday, going 2-for-4 with two triples for Class A Fort Myers.
• Twins director of minor leagues Brad Steil was in attendance Thursday when Byron Buxton went 3-for-5 with a homer, five RBI and four runs scored for Class A Cedar Rapids.