Q&A: Jordan Meaker Adjusts to New League

Jordan Meaker did not allow an earned run in his first nine appearances with the Yakima Bears last season. In fact, he allowed as many earned runs in his first four appearances with the South Bend Silver Hawks this season as he did in 26 games last year. The 6-foot-6 Canadian did not allow a hit nor a walk in his two-inning win Saturday, however.

Jordan Meaker was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in 2005, but elected to go to Dallas Baptist University instead.  Meaker was again drafted in 2008, this time by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 20th round.  He led the Yakima Bears with six saves and a 1.47 ERA, using a 92 MPH fastball and mid-70s curve.

Meaker enjoyed two successful outings to begin the 2009 season, but followed those with a couple he would like to forget.  The Saturday night, he entered a game trailing 3-1 in the eighth, then wound up with the victory courtesy of Alberto Diaz' 9th-inning grand slam.  Meaker sealed the deal with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth, but it was not without drama, as the first two batters took him deep to the warning track.

FutureBacks.com: Did you think when you came in that you'd be getting the win.

Jordan Meaker: Nope.  I just thought I'd be getting an inning of work.   I hadn't pitched in a while, just get some rust off.  Then our offense decided to put a six-spot on them, so that was pretty cool.

FB: Does your approach change pitching with a two-run deficit to pitching with a four-run lead?

JM: Um, not really.  Maybe a little.  You don't have as much leeway, I guess.  For me, I pretty much throw as hard as I can as much as I can every time I step on the mound.

FB: What's been your biggest challenge facing Midwest League hitters?

JM: [They are] just a little bit better than compared to last year.  I make the same pitch as last year, and they just put a little bat on it, maybe put it into play, maybe hit it a little bit farther.  A little more disciplined at the plate than last year.

FB: A couple of deep flies in the ninth... did you think either of them were going out?

JM: Uhhh, both. [laughs].  I felt negative on both; I thought both were gone.  I guess they didn't get all of it.

FB: Being a power pitcher, you you pitch up in the zone more often than some of the other guys?

JM: I do, yeah.  I probably shouldn't, but I do. 

FB: How do you decide how often to throw your curveball?

JM: Depends on the hitter, what his approach is.  If he's sitting back in the beginning, maybe depending upon his stance.  Depending upon the count, as well.

FB: Do you feel that your height intimidates hitters?

JM: I hope so!  I need all the advantage I can get.  I think it might.

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