The Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington Show was held today. Huntington started out by thanking the fan base for coming out in droves and mentioned that Bob Nutting and Frank Coonelly has a tremendous impact on him “as a boss.” The Bucs GM then thanked his directors, scouts, analysts, office, and went on for two minutes about the staff and team.
The hunger and willingness to grow were mentioned by Huntington throughout and he spoke with passion about the work from the entire staff. (You know…that Huntington 100+ mph laser quick speak that baffles most everyone)
When asked by host Greg Brown about those that were asking for his head as recently as last year, Huntington mentioned he doesn’t do much reflecting on the past. He mentioned that the team has had one winning season in his tenure.
We have to do it again.
The specific players Huntington drafted—Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire–spoke volumes to Frank Coonelly mentioned Brown in the interrview. Do we wish it happened quicker and simpler? Absolutely said Huntington. It hasnt always been perfect. We believed. We have to continue to do the things that got us here, We have to learn from past success and failures. Huntingon said.
When asked about the allure of adding a veteran free agent, Huntington said in 2011 was first time we added true free agent. In 2012, we went and got Barajas and Barmes. They didn’t block prospects. Last year, we got Martin and LIriano because we thought they would be good. A.J. in 2012, with the idea that we were ready to take next step.
By end of contract, you will have served longer than any other GM in Pirates history outside of Joe L Brown. When I read that Huntington said, it took my breath away. We had one good year, things are good, but we still have work to do.
Brown asked about sewing up those that work under Huntington. The GM said the dominoes will fall into place. We have to have succession plans. We have to allow people to grow. We are looking forward to a way of finding a way to award them as well.
After a break, Brown asked about players.
Regarding Andrew Lambo. We wanted to get his feet under him. Let him exhale. Travis had a nice spring although it was delayed. He swung the bat well and did nice job around the bag. He edged out Chris McGuiness. If Travis runs with this opportunity, if Lambo turns corner or if we find something else out there. if we get enough production we may be ok, or Andrew might get another shot or McGuiness could get shot.
Regarding Vin Mazzaro and Stolmy Pimentel and the bullpen. We thought Stolmy could help in rotation this year. Or next year. Jeanmar Gomez had velocity up a tick. Bryan Morris took step forward. In Vin’s role, it was just fit. it wasn’t a negative. We thought there would be an easy fit. Eight days in and we havent found a home for him. It’s surprising we haven’t. We are trying to trade him as a first option. We have been told our asks are reasonable but teams arent in a position to make a move. We will see where it goes.
Regarding Starling Marte and Rene Gayo. Well, Rene Gayo has made significant impact–(he mentioned) Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Harold Ramirez….for us to continue to be successful, Rene has to continue to be successful.
When asked about the invite to Barry Bonds. It’s great to see the greats of Pirates past with the Pirates present. I think the fans recognize the good that Barry did for the franchise. It was a great combo of past and future.
Regarding Jeff Locke. He threw five innings on April 4, he threw free and easy. He will pitch on the 9th, most likely in Bradenton that will be 100 pitches. He has looked great.
Regarding Chris Stewart. he will play five innings a couple times, then seven innings. Chris is coming back as well as possilbe. He is an absolute competitor. We are trying to hold him back. He is so hungry though…he is probably behind his schedule, but ahead of our schedule a little bit. We have to find that middle ground.
Robert Andino dislocated his left shoulder. We are trying to determine how severe. We have Chase d’Arnaud and Michael Martinez we have some depth. Hopefully we wont need it.
Jameson Taillon…the big news…. the second doctor confirmed the first doctor opinion. We gave him period of rest. The symptoms didnt subside. We sought other opinions. After hearing options…some including surgery…Jameson has decided on Tommy John…I stopped listening after this. Damn.