The Neal Huntington Show returned to Pittsburgh Pirates network airwaves today. Huntington joined Greg Brown and below are some of the highlights from the show.
Biggest news: Huntington spoke about having the scouts out looking.
As always they will have targets and if the right guy becomes available, and the asks change we will see how it plays out.
Personal highlight: The Bucs GM and Sr. VP used the phrase, The Jonathan Sanchez Experiment. Glorious.
Huntington said the team operated all winter as though A.J. wouldn’t be coming back. He mentioned that if A.J. would have taken the QO the offseason would have changed. We feel the Bucs GM was evasive about the offseason a little bit.
Here is what it came down to…and Huntington said this, but not in so many words……just as we wrote in our Shotgun Approach article–limited money–spread it around–it didn’t work out. Here is the Shotgun article if you ‘re bored and stuck in this Snowmaggedon storm today.
Huntington spoke about when the team has the first stretch of five consecutive games. (Need for the fifth starter early, bringing Frankie back, etc)
Regarding Wandy Rodriguez, Huntington liked the agressiveneness and now it’s just a matter of getting him built up and ready to go by end of Spring. Huntignton mentioned the southpaw is a bit behind because the team has been so cautious.
Andrew Lambo received praise from Huntington on his defense. Specifically, the Bucs GM spoke about the mid range hop being very difficult and that Beezy made a pick on one the other day ‘making it look like a piece of cake.’
Huntington spoke about Gaby Sanchez and Neil Walker. Gaby was never given opportunity against righties… never in a rhythm last year because the club put Sanchez in difficult situation because he wasn’t given many at bats consistently.
As I was thinking that Sanchez shouldn’t get at-bats against lefties, Huntington–obviously reading my mind said those famous words….he has done it before. (Ugh.)
Brown spoke about Tony Sanchez giving Jaff Decker a cape and a crown for his situational hitting prowess. Huntington brushed that aside and firmly spoke about Jeff Branson.
The goal for the offense is to be more productive. Jeff Branson’s singular focus will be on this. He added about hitters staying middle of the field, etc.
Huntington spoke about the rule changes including replay and the goal of MLB is not to get every single call correct, but to avoid aggregious calls such as Jerry Sands call, the incidents with Buster Posey. The Bucs GM mentioned that the team is working through the strategy of replay and how the team will use challenges. He mentioned that it will ultimately be Clint Hurdle’s call, but the person assigned to watching the replay will use how strongly he feels the video will stand up. (Obviously Dan Fox and the boys are running some serious situational analysis on this.)
The next Neal Huntington Show will be in three weeks.