The Pittsburgh Pirates weekly Neal Huntington show had a bit of technical details and was cut a bit short, but it was filled with information. After listening to the show, we got the feeling that the Pirates brass are looking for help outside of the organization.
It wasn’t emphasized by the Bucs GM, but just the thought that the Pirates could add veteran bench players is exciting to hear.
The show is detailed below, and remember none of these are direct quotes from the Bucs GM.
Huntington started off saying that he was trying to put the strongest club on the field for Clint Hurdle. It was a point he hammered home a few times. When the team found out that Starling Marte was worse than they had anticipated, tough decisions needed to be made. The team had Tabata on the way to St. Louis yesterday in anticipation of the bad news regarding Marte, or in case Jordy Mercer‘s injury was more sore than anticipated. The fact that his wife is headed into labor tomorrow to have their son Maverick, made the move a bit easier to me.
The Bucs GM said, the team has been very healthy this year, and the most dreaded answer a Major League GM can get from a trainer is a player is going to be out anywhere from seven to ten days. It makes it difficult to take a player away from the team for those eight to five games a 15-game DL stint requires.
The new Pirates medical staff was paid a compliment, ‘Todd and the medical staff do a fantastic job communicating with us.”
Neil Walker was discussed and Huntington said that the swelling, pain and soreness is coming out of Walkers pinky finger.
The decision on which outfielder to call up for Marte was between Alex Presley and Tabby. Huntington said it was a tough decision. The team talked about lefty and right handed hitter advantages. But he said it ultimately came down to which player earned it. “Both have done a nice job.”
This is where it got interesting as Huntington mentioned that he had some other things in the works. Curiously, he said Alex Presley might be here before September 1st.
Huntington once again mentioned that ‘the schedule makers didn’t do us any favors.’ He mentioned that a twenty game stretch in twenty days in August is tough. Of course we will man up, he said, it’s not an excuse. We have to tough through it, man up, or something close to that was mumbled…. (Life is tough, not sure where that came from)
More curious news was announced when Huntington said that Chad Qualls has taken care of what he needed to and the team will make a move tomorrow to add him back to the club.
Greg Brown asked about the difference in September callups and also talked about Clint Hurdle discussing how much money is involved in September callups. Brown wanted to be clear that money was not going to influence what the Pirates would do.
Huntington came out and said what we really wanted to hear.
The September call up difference will be that we give 99 percent to Pittsburgh. All apoligies to Indianapolis, but we are in a pennant race. We are going to give Clint the weapons he needs to win in that pennant race.
The Bucs GM said that money involved in bringing up players in September didn’t come into play when the team wasn’t in a pennant race, and certainly won’t factor in to the equation now that we are in pennant race.
The Pittsburgh Pirates rotation was discussed. Huntington said, we were short here and there and as we get into September, we can juggle based on schedule. He mentioned that he doesn’t want to knock guys out of their routine saying they are creatures of habit.
And the good news was about to come when Brown asked Huntington what the roster was at, Huntington replied it’s at 39 players.
“We are looking at other clubs veterans we want Clint to have a fully loaded bench.” Neal Huntington
Brown asked about a callup for the hot hitting Brock Holt. Huntington said it’s awfully tough for a young player to go to a bench role. Huntington called Holt a gamer and a tough out.
Huntington mentioned Jeff Clement. He said that Clement had cooled off, but is still in the plans for a potential September callup. Huntington mentioned that Indianapolis has mainly pitching that can help the big league club.
Dig up some bats for the bench Neal. Happy Hunting.