Aug 30, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington in the dugout before the Pirates host the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pirates GM Neal Huntington answered questions from Greg Brown today on his weekly show.
The first question was the popular one, Pedro Alvarez and his throwing challenges.
"There is no question he is having challenges…the play when his feet stop moving. We have to keep his feet moving, remain mechanically sound…from a glove standpoint..he’s never played better as a Pirate. If we can get him through this hiccup…we have a pretty good player.He’s a guy that wants to be great…he knows what he has done and what he is capable of…I will argue he probably cares too much. He internalizes. One white hot stretch…that he’s capable of means a ton for this club. There have been a couple games where Pedro’s error has cost us a run. We have to keep this in the proper perspective and context."
Brown asked about Huntington taking his 16 year old and 14 year old sons to the All-Star Game. He recalled watching Mike Stanton in the HR derby…Derek Jeter….Andrew McCutchen beating out a single. To be able to share those moments with my boys was a ton of fun.
"It was one of those special moments as a Dad that you have with your sons."
The Bucs GM thought when Josh Harrison was picked as a utility player he might be the last player off the bench. He spoke about the ton of pressure the managers are under during the game–asking about pinch hitters, being out of pitching in the All-Star Game, etc…
I think they…it’s hard to say if there has been an impact on the intensity level. I wouldnt think Cutch and Donaldson showing so much effort. It’s a tough question (if it should mean home field advantage)
Brown asked about the length of the HR Derby. “It was an awfully long time,” Huntington said. “Sitting there it seemed awfully long.”
Would you be interested in a skills competition. As a fan, to see them execute skills…no. The extra throws, time, energy…they want to win. Its the same as a dunk contest why guys dont want to be involved. There have been guys whose wrist–like Cespedes who come out of the derby with an injury it’s hard. So as GM of Pirates–no. My views as a GM are different, completely persepective. I have different persepctives.
Brown joked that he would have to ask the Huntington boys how they would feel about the topic and the Bucs GM got a chuckle.
Starling Marte who was beaned in the head. Seven day DL?
"The concussions are the grayest of the gray. We dont want to put him in harms way. There is a chance he could play and still feel lingering impact. It’s minute by minute."
Clint Barmes was throwing on field.
"He is making great progress. Well ahead of where we thought he would be, but still a ways away."
Gerrit Cole gave fist bumps after a bullpen session.
"The quick word I got was it went well. The next question is will it be another bullpen or a sim game–as soon as we feel he is ready to go."
We learned of when Gerrit Cole will pitch in Indy and when he will make another start for the Pirates should all go well. The Gerrit Cole Countdown Begins. Click here to see the proposed timetable.
Greg Brown has something he loves about players going down on rehab assignments and pushed the topic a bit. Huntington spoke around the topic a bit and talked about how the club cant force a rehab assignment.
Huntington spoke about Adrian Sampson.
"He’s physical. Not afraid…will back hitter off plate and can command it off the plate. We pushed him agressively this year…we saw continued growth. He has answered the bell and then some."
Host Greg Brown asked about Jacoby Jones and the switch to shortstop.
"We have guys very excited about his young man. Our guys saw upside…stayed with him. We had people that were strong and saw his ability to play shortstop. Our guys think he has every ability to play short at ML level."
Brown noted that Andrew Lambo had a big night last night…
"Andrew worked hard during (chuckle) lower level rehab. Andrew has taken great steps forward. He will play outfield and first base..also DH. We will keep him moving around…if we have injury at first or in outfield his versatility will be an asset for him."
Tony Sanchez was brought up by Brown talking about his recent success (growing his average .35 points) — throwing challenges, etc… Brown mentioned that Tony spoke about giving up baseball during the pre-game show.
"When we sent him back out, despite the fact that we told him our intentions….nobody wants to be in AAA, it’s hard to accept. Tony helped us down the stretch last year…he’s had success at the big league level. But when he got sent out he had challenges. We are pleased with what he can become and what he can do for the organization."