Bradenton Marauders: Justin Meis Excelling in Relief Role during Debut Season

Photo Credit: Eastern Michigan Athletics

 It isn't always an easy transition to go from the rotation to the bullpen. There is a completely different mentality that comes with coming out of the bullpen, sometimes with the game on the line, as opposed to starting the game with a blank slate.

Sometimes it take a little for a pitcher to make that adjustment, especially when that change comes when they enter pro ball.

The 10th round selection for the Pittsburgh Pirates in this past draft, Justin Meis, has had to make that adjustment on the fly in his debut season but has done so with great results.

Meis, who hails from Bethel Park, pitched three years at Eastern Michigan and of his 32 career appearances with the team only three came out of the bullpen.

But with the Bradenton Marauders, the 21-year old righty has settled in to a multi-inning relief role that has seen him now pitch 14 innings in eight outings this season.

He made his debut on August 7th, pitching two innings while allowing two hits, an earned run, a walk and struck out four batters. Meis also struck out four batters across two innings on the 28th of August, allowing three unearned runs in the process.

Friday night in the second game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Tarpons Meis took his game to another level. While he did allow a solo home run to Juan De Leon, the other six batters he faced he struck out.

A look at all six of his strikeouts on the night, working the sixth and seventh innings for the Marauders.

Meis generated five swing and misses among his 30 pitches on the night. He stayed right around his season mark, with 63% of his pitches going for strikes (62% on the season).

What really worked on the night was his slider, which he used early and often. Of his 30 pitches, 18 were the slider. His six strikeouts? Four with the slider. 

Here's a bonus video of over a minute of some knee buckling sliders that froze the Tarpon hitters.

Other news and notes

>It was a tough second game for the Marauders offense, who mustered just a lone run on a single hit in the seven innings. You aren't going to win too many games with that kind of output on the offensive side of things.

You have to wonder how different things might have gone overall if not for the close call that didn't go the Marauders way. What could (should) have been a called strike three, led to a two-out single which was then followed by a three-run home run.

You be the judge.

Fun fact, the automated strike zone was used in game one, but not in the one this happened in. I wasn't sure how I truly felt about things going automated, especially when they were talking about adjusting the edges.

Let's see it beyond Low-A next year.

>Jared Jones, the unlikely recipient of said call, worked around the rough start, and pitched five innings while striking out eight. The best part of the night was the lone walk he allowed. Jones, like most young players, has had some bouts with his control but overall has been a great year for the second round pick in 2020.

After his start against on Friday, Jones has dropped his BB/9 to nearly four but has maintained his insane strikeout rate (14.32 K/9).

>Not sure there is a better way than being announced Player of the Month than hitting your 11th home run of the season, but that's what Jack Herman did, in game one.

>Jared Triolo recorded another hit, bumping up his average to .305, keeping him in the lead for the High-A East batting title, if that's an actual thing. Matt Fraizer still is the actually leader, with Triolo behind him as the leading active player.

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