The Neal Huntington Show notes from Sunday July 31, 2011. 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 blown off…early in show to talk Lee and trades.
Greg Brown: Made trade for Derrek Lee
Neal Huntington: Established veteran hitter, our guys felt like he had a good deal left in the tank. Go into Clint’s lineup. Good presence in clubhouse.
GB: Scouting report from folks that watched him?
NH: Swung bat well with sore thumb for Atlanta. He is yes, 36, has some left in tank. Worked through shift to AL. It does have an impact with older players. Very small sample size. He has hurt NL pitching. Come into own last month. Said his stats. Handful of extra base hits.
A little roll of the dice with the age.
Motivated with free agency at end of season. Every indication we’ve got is he is a quality guy. Soft hands. Got a text from infield coach, tell your infielders to get the ball near Lee. he will catch it.
We spoke to him last night. Trying to get family situated. Looking forward to joining the Pirates as soon as possible.
[Greg Brown:] Do
GB: Any chance for today?
No, Monday or Tuesday, most likely Monday.
GB: More trades coming Neal?
We are optimistic. But if we don’t, we have players ready to come back and help us. To have five players that will help us, that is five pretty good additions. Doesn’t count Lincoln, Gorkys, or Josh Harrison.
If we don’t make a move, we have five pretty good additions coming to help us in August.
GB: Beltran and perhaps others turned down the opportunity to come to Pittsburgh.
Not speaking to anyone specifically. 10/5 players can do full no trade. They have to want to come to your city. We were willing to take on financial portion. We were willing in certain situations to give up significant amount of talent.
They have earned that right not to come to your city.
Other players we’ve pursued, and those players haven’t been made available or clubs haven’t even interested in taking offers. And finally, we keep pursuing all players that we think will help the team.
July 31 doesn’t end the trading period.
We sit near bottom of waiver wire. We are in pretty good shape on NL teams, Cincy could get the first shot. We have to be strategic in who we claim. Blocking is key as well, there is strategy involved.
GB: Could you explain more on waiver claims?
You look at players you’ve been trying to get. Player doesn’t want to leave. Club isn’t interested. Club is still in the race. For example, we could have let Derrek Lee go through the waiver process. Our thoughts were Lee wouldn’t have got through the AL. So we extended ourselves to assure getting him.
GB: Doumit move?
When you acquire a 40 man player, you have to make 40 man move. Doumit is reinstatable immediately as he has spent more than 60 days on the DL. When Lee arrives a 25-man roster move is forthcoming.
GB: Derrek Lee is the starter? I mean that’s why he was acquired?
(A long pause) Derrek Lee has been acquired to be a big bat in our lineup.
GB: tweet question from @mrhammar Talent evaluation process
I could go on for days. Quickly, we have blanket scouting coverage. Two in majors. One in each league. Other pro all way to A. Each ML team we get two looks. Special assts go see certain players. Two or three wks we ask to keep schedule open. We can run them all around to get second, third, fourth looks. Free agent signs down the road and trades.
We have edited at-bats through the system. One example, a young ML player we talked about getting….I saw every at-bat. We can ask the ML staff in certain situations. We connect with anyone from teammates, to coaches, to front office regarding character and chemistry. Last thing we want to do is bring a bad guy into the group.
We have Dan Fox. They can break down the metrics. Guy hitting 300 but BABIP is high, soft contact, they can see he might underachieve going forward. (he talked opposite scenario as well)
We did that with Joel Hanrahan. We dug deep. We saw he was due a positive regression.
GB: The strategy?
We deployed our scouts with ideas to see clubs we thought would be sellers at the deadline. We scouted the minor league teams of Red Sox and Yankees because we knew they would be good.
GB: Other day Clint called you hardest working man in baseball, has it been frustrating or rewarding?
Frustrating and rewarding our good words, also challenging… I appreciate Clint’s words. Clint is a tremendous motivator and leader. We are trying to get after it. Our work ethic and committment hasn’t changed. (lauded scouts and development) ML results are the result.. the fruits of our labor.
Biggest step is to go to next level.
Frustrating because we dont feel we overvalue our prospects. If you wanted to criticize us, maybe we undervalue what a player could do to impact the club for two months versus a player that we could have for six years.
GB: How close is Doumit.
He has shown rust both in Bradenton and even in Indy. We see signs of rust getting knocked off. We need to stretch him out. Michael (McKenry) has been great. They will probably split it. (assume he means playing time at catcher)….whatever Clint feels is right.
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