Evan Meek named to National League All-Star roster
Evan Meek today was named to the National League All-Star roster, becoming the Pirates' first middle reliever chosen since the "closer era" began with saves became an official stat in 1969.
"It's surprising," Meek said. "A lot of starters and closers go to the game. I've always said there are a lot of great middle relievers out there who deserve to go to the game. I think they're overlooked a little bit. It's amazing to be selected, an overwhelming feeling."
Meek's 0.98 ERA is the lowest among NL relievers. He is one of three relievers in the majors with a sub-1.00 ERA, joining Detroit's Jose Valverde (0.51) and Mariano Rivera (0.86) of the New York Yankees.
The Pirates claimed Meek off Tampa Bay's roster in the 2007 Rule 5 draft. He went 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA in 2007 and 1-1 with a 3.45 ERA last year.
"I struggled, I was sent down (to the minors) and then called back up — that's all part of it," Meek said. "I'm just trying to get better every day."
Meek is among the players selected by Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who will manage the NL squad. Manuel did not pick outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who is batting .299 with seven homers and 24 RBI and ranks second in the NL with 20 stolen bases.
"Andrew was very deserving," Meek said. "I thought he should have gone."