Oakland: Casey Meisner, RHP
Meisner has had an interesting run in the minors. Once one of the better New York Mets pitching prospects, the A’s snagged him in the Tyler Clippard deal back in 2015. He responded with the worst full season of his career at Stockton in 2016 but did have a decent bounce back last season.
The 22-year-old righty is big. He is listed at 6-foot-7 and 190 and looks maybe a tad taller on the mound thanks to a lanky presence. Meisner had some mechanical tweaks as a raw high school pitcher when the Mets selected him in the third round of the 2013 MLB Draft, even seeing some velocity issues in the past, but seems to be back on track.
Meisner has five pitches. His best two offerings are a low-90s fastball and his plus-change. He also adds a curve, slider and cutter to his arsenal all of which or above-average on good days and inconsistent on bad days. Meisner has averaged 22 starts over the past three seasons, eclipsing the 100 innings mark with relative ease.
‘The A’s have some nice starting depth on the pipeline. With Meisner still needing to show consistency and a ceiling of a No. 4 or 5 on the pipeline, he became expendable for an Athletics team looking for some help in the bullpen. Meisner should provide at least depth for the Cardinals. Now on his third team since 2015, he’s hoping to find the place he can finally call home.
St. Louis: Josh Lucas, RHP
Lucas, now 27 years old, is no prospect by any means. That said, his big-league experience is a small size, finally making his 7.1-inning MLB debut last season.
Lucas is also tall and lanky, listed at 6-foot-6 and 185 pounds. He served as the Memphis closer last season, converting 17-of-20 saves with a 3.15 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 68 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.
Bobby DeMuro at Baseball Census describes Lucas as a “sinker/slider type with the ability to work consistent ground ball contact, Josh Lucas has some natural matchup capability against right-handers and could fill in a big league middle relief role with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018 and beyond.” He throws his fastball two different ways, the two-seamer with the sinking life and better velocity. His slider is an effective out pitch as well.
The Cardinals DFA’d Lucas after a fall in the desert and a strong showing this spring. He capped his Cardinals’ career with 11.1 shutout innings in Grapefruit League action, striking out 12 and walking two. Now with the Athletics, he may be able to help out in the middle of the bullpen almost immediately.