The Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington Show Recap notes are here.
Neal Huntington joined Greg Brown this afternoon as the Pirates attempt to sweep the Florida Marlins.
It’s been fun to see him come out of the gate so strong. Obviously we still have development left, but he is going to be fun to watch.
To watch those three athletes run around the bases on Cutch’s triple.
I dont know how the bar could be any higher. in this day and age of conversation and sports news…it’s going to be almost impossible for any young player to live up to hype. We just want Gregory to go play game hard, enjoy himself and will he have tough stretches? Yes. The battle is to get extremely productive period for as long as we can and the struggles for as short as we can.
Polanco and the lead off spot was discussed about by Greg Brown.
The challenge is Josh Harrison has done everything to be at the top…to be in the lineup. But Polanco, Marte, Cutch at top and put Josh down in area where he can continue to be productive. What we had started with the Expos….I have not seen an outfield as athletic. I have always been fascinated by that athleticism and the impact it has on our pitchers. To have these three guys, hopefully for long time, and hopefully they can impact the game in every facet. It just makes you a better team. No question about it.
Brown spoke about Polanco, Marte, and McCutchen having success as the three at the top of the lineup…creating havoc…speed.
You get Polanco at the top…and then anyone in front of McCutchen will benefit from hitting in front of Andrew McCutchen. As Neil Walker gets healthy…float Harrison around…should put a lot of runners on base. The thing that is really exciting is that it’s not just walks and singles, but we will have doubles, triples, homers. We will put pressure on opposing pitchers and defense. But it all comes back to them not doing to much, staying within themselves.
Brown spoke about a possible pride factor driving Starling Marte since Gregory Polanco’s arrival.
I think it’s more coincidence. Starling is a very proud man. Talented player. Those players go through tough stretches. He is chasing at a lower rate. He has been able to spoil tough pitches. Now it’s just a matter of keeping going. The goal is to maximize those hot stretches. If I were a pitcher, I would do everything in my power to not put Marte on in front of McCutchen.
Brown spoke about losing starting pitchers and Neil Walker and then the pitchers from AAA gave some good work.
Neil will do everything as soon as he possibly can. We need to put him in a position to succeed. He was in middle of All-Star year. He has been really productive for us. Gave us a ton of quality at bats. It’s beeen fun to see Jeff Locke step up. Even his first start on short rest…over four inning swas as good as he has been. His last two starts it’s been everything we saw last year…if not better. With Cole and Liriano banged up, Brandon Cumpton has given team shot to win. Jeff Locke…and Charlie has pitched well. The best thing about bullpen is when they throw a clunker out, it just goes to show how good they have been for a long period of time.
Liriano down for a while..Brown asked if it was blessing in disguise.
This may be great opportunity for him to catch his breath…hopefully…hopefully…we have caught it early enough. He is feeling better. But there is no black and white when he will be back. He has built on each day. Gives Vance Worley an opportunity to step up. Gerrit Cole is getting better…full side today. Maybe Cole can catch his breath as well.
Worley has gotten back to doing the things he has done when was he in Philly.
Brown asked what the team saw in Worley before they acquired him from the Twins.
It was most change of scenery. Our scouts saw quality pitches. Vance came in open minded. We wanted to build up his pitch count. He has attacked strike zone in the past, did so at AAA. He pitches off fastball primarily. He has been agressive in the zone, got some swing and miss and weak contact.
Did Jim Benedict do work with Vance Worley?
there were some things that Vance wanted to get back to. Study video. Got to interact with Benedict a lot. He had a professional approach. It was not a complete over haul, but getting back to some things that have worked for him in the past. Vance deserves a ton of credit. Getting after it and putting himself in this place to have this opportunity and make it a success.
Brown talked about the roster moves.
Vance is out of options. Some other guys in the bullpen that are out of options. As we looked at this stretch, we felt Vance was that guy who could give us best option. Casey Sadler was in the bullpen. It would take time to get him back in sync. We thought this was the move that could help us win these games. We have some decisions to make at that point in time (when Cole and Liraino could return.)
Worley puts us back at 40 on the roster.
Brown asked if Huntington was looking outside the organization to make a move?
we always look to make club better. The speculation is a little ahead of itself. Sellers sell in late July. It doesnt stop people from writing things that are not accurate. We will always look for ways to improve club. We continue to explore external options. We like what our guys are capable of doing. But if an opportunity to add to it arises we will stike if we need to.
We added Ike Davis at an opportune time at an apporpriate acquistion cost that we felt was right. Like most hitters he struggled. Right opportunity..right addition. We want to add the right piece and the right player.
Brown asked about promotions…. A.J. Morris, and also Nick Kingham to Triple-A Indianapolis
Well, we would go with other guys ahead of them. Obviously AJ mixed and matched. Solid fastball. Very efficient. Kingham threw seven quality innings. Used fastball. Low to mid 90′s the changeup continues to come on. He has had mixed success at AA, maybe not showing us everything he could.
Brown said he told someone he would ask this question (Dan Zangrilli’s idea)…do you still see Tony Watson as a bullpen guy in the near future…or as some suggest is he is so good..so talented almost wasting his talents as a seventh inning guy.
(Huntington sounded insulted with the concept…pretty interesting stuff) Well Tony is certainly a lot more than just a seventh inning guy. Much like Grill did…he pitches to the most important hitters. we are open to considering him as a starter. not something we do in the middle of the season…wouldnt be fair..the other challenge is he is very different from what he was in the minors. He was pitcher of year in 08 before having injury..getting operated. he has take off. great athlete…really smart..i can completely see why people would consider.
CJ Wilson made the transition from high leverage to a starter. there are also other guys who haven’t made the transition as well.
Neal is it me… or are you ahead of pace in signing draft picks this year?
We are.. the new system allows a better understanding. allows players to get after it right away. Hopefully we will have more guys on board this week.
Neal spoke about his father as the show closed.
I work everyday to try and live up to standards and expecations my father set for me. He still gets up everday about 430 to go to the barn. He’s 78. Anytime I get tired, I think about Dad with two replaced knees heading to the barn.
Pretty cool story. Really cool GM