Our haphazard notes from the Neal Huntington Show

May 22 Notes: Pirates GM Neal Huntington Show

May 22. 

The Neal Huntington Show held his weekly radio show with host Greg Brown on 104.7 today.  Once again, this is recapped as quickly and briefly as possible. If you have questions send them to us on Twitter and we will give our take on the show.

The tweet question of the week was about Daniel McCutchen being stretched out to be used as a starter:

Greg Brown:  What do you think Neal?

Most of the best relievers were once starters when you look around MLB.  Right now McCutchen is having success out of the pen.  We have some other options to start.  (Huntington then named those options with Brad Lincoln being first.)

Daniel’s best way to help the club is out of the pen.  He has commanded the ball well.  He has used all three pitches.  Pitch off his change if that’s his best pitch that day. 

I don’t want to close any doors for the future.  Is it in a one inning role?  A multi inning role?   Daniel may found himself in the game in the second inning or seventh inning based on that day.

Greg Brown:   The Texas Rangers were looking for ways to get starters.  How about Joel Hanrahan doing this (becoming a starting pitcher)?

At one time Joel was one of the best starting pitching prospects in the game.  He battled some injuries.  The Nationals moved him to the pen. 

Joel’s is writing the rest of that story right now..

Joel’s power is at 95-99mph this year.  Slider was good as any in baseball last year. It’s been inconsistent this year. 

(In regard to moving him to a starter) We will take a look on a case by case basis. 

His velocity…his peak is the same as in the past.  His average is higher now.  He is settling at 95 now.  He’s been more agressive.  He worked hard in spring training this year to locate his fastball.

GB:  Speaking of tweets, your general thoughts about tweeting and then Tony Sanchez.

As long as they represent themselves professionaly.  As long as it doesn’t distract……  It has to be done in a professional manner. 

(Brown brought up Jameson Taillon tweeting his move to West Virginia Power…)

In a perfect world, we announce the news. 

Huntington mentioned the Ciriaco debacle.  We don’t want to announce a move until we see the whites of the players eyes.  He has arrived with the club 100%. 

Huntington talked about a player rolling his ankle after being announced as being promoted the night before.  He went to a bar…..had a few pops.  We confirmed this.  The next day the player couldn’t pitch. 

Is it paranoia?  Yes.  Yes it is.

We just want to cover ourselves. 

Again, as long as it’s (tweeting) professional. 

It can’t be about selfishness.  Can’t be about ego.

GB: Ciriaco situation….

(Adamantly) If behavoir was intended to misinform, that’s not what or how we do and there will be consequences.  We aren’t going to lie.

At times we are going to give less information than people want. 

GB:  What is situation with Tony Sanchez

Tony had a post game tweet where he was very upset.  Tweeted about umpires.  Followed up with another tweet that was unprofessional.  A decision was made to sit him for three days.  After we spoke with Sanchez, he chose to shut his Twitter account done.

GB:  How long will be Pedro Alvarez be out

Hindsight is 20/20.  He was making progress.  Wasn’t limiting to much defensively.  He felt it in the Milwaukee series.  Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

(Did that hamper?)  Hamstrings linger.  Doubt in mind.  It certainly could have played a role for Pedro.  He was telling us it wasn’t. 

(Why Ciriaco and not Harrison?)  A true backup shortstop on the bench.  If it’s longer, Harrison would be a possibility, but Clint wanted a true backup shortstop.  So we went with Ciriaco.

GB:  With Meek coming back, who will leave?

I hate to talk about a man’s future without talking with him first.  We will make best decsion for the club.

GB:  Does Lincoln force the issue? 

That means we are are getting there as an organization.  We want guys in AAA ready to move up, but we don’t have a spot in majors.  Lincoln has been better.  Fastball is down.  The changeup is becoming very, very good against right and left handers.

Who do we take out of the rotation? (Huntington asked himself)  He went through the rotation and the success of the Pirates starters.

GB:  Tell us about Lincoln’s changeup

He has more movement on his change.  He is getting strikes with it.  He has confidence in it.  He is using it. 

Is it truly different?  Probably not, but his confidence in it has made the difference.

GB:   Dylan Bundy told Pirates he didn’t want drafted…long tossing…do Pirates not allow?

That’s news to us.  We allow long tossing.  If a pitcher wants to throw at 300 feet, and his mechanics are sound, we believe in it in some situations.  If he does it in a different way, may get hurt or his mechanics are off we are going to talk about it.

We individualize our programs.

We haven’t been told by any player not to draft them.

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  • Hammerin_Hank

    What would you say to: Paul Maholm Trade Value? 1)Pirate Players dont like him = No run Support (Thats a joke) 2) He is pitching good and some team could use him 3) Brings Lincoln up. KC, Electric Stuff, Jmac, Kar/Ross, Lincoln. Then we hope Ross comes back good if not well we got RUDY RUDY RUDY RUDY RUDY RUDY RUDY.. And if hes not ready then Kars holds it down pretty good. So for Paul Drop him while hes Hott (Bad Rap Reference) I just dont know what we could get for him??

    • http://rumbunter.com Tom Smith

      It’s a great question Hank. It’s just difficult because I can’t recall him pitching as well as he is right now. While not a Maholm fan, he is really consistent and eats innings.

      For me to move him I would want a haul and I just can’t see it happening. It’s the question of forecasting if you will. Do you think he can sustain this for one, two, or three more years?

      At this point has Maholm figured something out? With some run support this season wouldn’t Maholm be a pitcher that garners attention in the media? No support=No wins=No story. The only story or buzz around Maholm is how professionally he is taking the lack of run support.

      Currently Maholm is pitching well and earning his cash, but will it continue? At this time, why bother finding out? There was barely a sniff from other teams last season on Maholm at the deadline.

      So right now, he is giving the Bucs an opportunity to win everytime out the gate. Every staff in the bigs is looking for a couple of those in the back of their rotation. We feel it would obviously be a good idea to package Maholm with some of the prospects/upcoming Rule 5 eligible players the Pirates might not have interest in protecting moving forward. Obviously, this should increase the possible return the Pirates would receive based on what the teams needs are and if a player like Josh Harrison for example fills those needs.

      The debate will always be this…Maholm has been somewhat consistent and to trade him for prospects is risky. Somene once said prospects get GM’s fired. If he is traded for a proven major league player, we can’t see it being any player of immediate impact unless the Bucs include a larger package of young talent.

  • Hammerin_Hank

    I like your point, It does make sense to package him up with a Prospect this way the return could be of a MLB caliber player other then a Prospect that might fail in the system. Also Pirates would need to find a guy that is MLB ready while being able to control his years and that would be hard to do

    Maholm does look like a different pitcher out on the Mound this year, Which is great to see, but at the same time sad to see that when he pitches the bats are nowhere to be found