The Neal Huntington Show was hosted by Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Greg Brown and focused on the injuries and updates to the Bucs roster.
Regarding Jason Grilli. The challenge with side strains, some are minor, always run risk of trying to come back too quickly. It appears we have caught this one early. We want to give Jason the appropriate time to heal. The DL move was the best move, but if it takes longer we will have to deal with that.
Brown asked about the back dating rule. I made a procedural error, as embarrassing as it is, I made it. I missed part B of the rule. (That’s NH at his best, he always takes the blame, smart guy)
Regarding Russell Martin’s DL stint: We honestly don’t know how long Russ Martin is going to be down. If it takes longer than 15 days, it takes longer. We got relatively good news on the MRI. We know his intent and his passion. We have to do everything in our power to make sure he gets to as close to healthy as possible.
If Tony Sanchez is one of the best young catching prospects we will be able to sustain. We have a ton of confidence in Tony Sanchez. You dont replace a Russell Martin, but you do the best you can.
Regarding Francisco Liriano: I was probably the happiest man in Pittsburgh. We dont believe nothing else is going on. It was a little bit of relief. It was uncertain to figure out what was going on. The erratic command that inning. I have to admit I was relieved. We are going to drill down to be sure it was just dizziness.
Brown talked about seeing Wandy Rodriguez’s bullpen session today in St. Louis (high-fiving in bullpen with teammates) We are working through the details in when he will do a rehab start. (Sounds like it will be early this week)
Regarding calling up Casey Sadler: If Volquez had to leave the game early, Sadler is throwing the ball about as well as anybody. He has pitched out of the bullpen in past. He attacks the zone. A top notch person. The guy we feel for is Jared Hughes. He is one of the best humans in our system (Apparently the Bucs have some inhuman/alien types)
Huntington added on about Sadler. Our guys like the person. The stuff is being refined. The sink is sharper and later. We had our player developmental people pound the table on the Rule 5 this year. We weren’t anticipating him helping us in April. He’s a guy that can come up and give us some help. We talked all offseason about our depth. It’s already come to light. Our scouts and development people do a great job.
Regarding Brandon Cumpton: Huntington said we have a high level of confidence in Brandon Cumpton. He pounded the fastball to the inner half and the opposite half. He mixed speeds.
Regarding Jeff Locke. (Seven strikeouts last night.) Huntington said he had another positive outing. He got some swing and misses and did it on a variety of pitches. A couple mistakes hit hard. He worked through some things last night.
Regarding communicating with Locke that it wasn’t his turn and so he didnt come up to get the start? Huntington said it’s situational specific. Might be done by Kyle Stark. Larry Broadway. We dont want to lose things in translation. It’s a mixed bag. We want Jeff to understand that he’s going to come and help us. Nobody wants to be in Triple-A. Our guys down there do a great job. Jeff has done a great job to get better and also a lot of work on being a great teammate.
The AAA staff does a great job. You cant just tell a guy to be quiet. And you also cant let a guy have a pity party. If they take care of attitude and show up every day to help that Indianapolis club win, if they handle themselves the right way they can help the big club. It might not be right now. Our focus is having them play in the big leagues. If there is any player that has a right to gripe right now it’s Jared Hughes. And he hasn’t. His single focus is helping the Pirates get to the postseason and deep into it.
(We think Neal Huntington really appreciates Jared Hughes.)
Regarding velocity from Stolmy Pimentel: He has shown mid-90s in the past. he has even shown upper 90s in the past. It’s hard to pitch out of the bullpen. (Especially since the Pirates didn’t need that long man playing in so many tight games) He started getting agressive. Not once, but twice, both times in St. Louis —and warm up on the mound–it was big. (Taked about Molina at bat) It was a big pitch for us.
Pimentel and starting perhaps next year: Are you putting it off or is something you want to do this year? He’s out of options. He will be an important part of it. He may step into moderate leverage role. He has stuff in our minds to start. The Orioles did this years ago. If we feel like he needs more innings, we always have winter ball. With the way Cumpton was throwing, we thought he was the best option.
Reese McGuire going on the DL: He is battling shoulder fatigue. We think it’s better to be agressive rather than push young guys through. We wanted to give him time to get through it. He also has a bad bruise in his mid section area.
Kyle McPherson re-injured: Kyle has a great mindset. Just another setback. he is one of the few guys that has had this in Dr. Andrews time, the original Tommy John is intact. Another remarkable young man. When he is healthy he’s a very good pitcher.
Tyler Glasnow reports: The fastball continues to miss bats, Curveball and changeup showed positive signs. Positive feedback on his personal growth. Also positive refinement in his mechanics.
( Nothing was said about Gregory Polanco. He plays Triple A and is having a good season. )