San Francisco Giants No. 3 ranked prospect Adalberto Mejia was activated from the disabled list on Sunday, slating him for this first start since a July 3 outing at Harrisburg. The 21-year-old hit the disabled list on July 5 with plantar fasciitis and a 5.90 ERA to his name.
But Monday afternoon in Bowie, Md., things seemed to turn around for Mejia, and the Flying Squirrels reaped the benefits.
The left-hander pitched easily his best game since joining the Class-AA affiliate Richmond Flying Squirrels at the beginning of the 2014 season, allowing just two baserunners over five nearly spotless innings. The win was his fifth of the year, and helped the team take sole possession of first place in the Eastern League's western division with a record of 57-40 entering the All-Star break.
Just two hits reached base against Mejia on Monday, with the Dominican Republic native allowing zero walks in a start for the third time this year.
Walks haven't been the issue for Mejia in a rough 2014, having averaged 2.5 free passes per nine innings heading into his 16th start. Mejia has been easy to hit, however, with opposing batters averaging .301 and slugging .483.
Flying Squirrels radio broadcaster Jon Laaser noticed some differences in Mejia, notably an increase in strikes.
"Yeah he was down more, ahead more," Laaser said. "He got away with the three mistakes he made, threw his secondary stuff for strikes, and worked a bit quicker."
Mejia was incredibly efficient, throwing 59 pitches in five innings, including 42 for strikes.
Mejia will hope to continue that trend coming out of the All-Star break and hopefully return to the form that helped him produce these impressive numbers in 2013 with the San Jose Giants.
Richmond resumes action on Thursday with a four-game series at home facing the Harrisburg Senators.