Neal Huntington Show Recap


Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington show recap

Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington held his weekly radio show with host Greg Brown.  The show was held from Miller Park where the Pirates GM was on hand for the show with the ball club were looking for a series sweep over the NL Central leading Brewers.

We do our best to capture most of the show, but on rare occasion, we miss a question or two.  Pirates GM Neal Huntington is a fast talker.  It’s hard to keep up.

"Neal Huntington called it a nice bounce back series for the team.  The Brewers got off to an incredible start in April and May and hit a tough stretch.  The Braves look like they have righted thier ship….people don’t look at strength of schedule, we are battling through tough part of schedule with some injuries.I think the ultimate is how do we play going forward.  This is a very talented time, when healthy can play with anybody.    There is a ton of parity in the game.  Teams have been running away with it….and then come back to the pack.  We have to take care of our business…if we can be healthy and do what we have shown what we are capable of doing."

Are you healthy..this club?

"We are getting there.  Cutch and Walker…just starting to get their swings.  Cole had a remarkable start.  Josh little beat up right now.  Jordy Mercer little beat up.  Physically we are it’s about getting back to hitting on all cylinders."

Brown asked about days off for catcher Russell Martin….  Huntington spoke about the club thinking he would play better by playing less.

"We have been aggressive in protecting Russ."

Brown asked who the best catcher in National League…outside Molina.

"I am bias toward Russ Martin.  Jonathan Lucroy is special…quiet leader, framing, threat with bat.  Miguel Montera…obviously…but I am biased.  I am always going to say Russ Martin"

Brown asked about the Pirates getting Martin signed…everyone asks us…gotta sign Martin.  You get it to…how do you answer?

"In a vaccum i agree one hundred percent.  It’s no different than Tampa, Cleveland, ten or fifteen other organizations.  We can’t be a one, two or three player organization.  Others are going to be willing to pay more.  AJ Burnett isn’t here because there is a level we cant go to.  It could be an annual event….there will be players “we have to sign” (meaning in terms of the fans and media.)  To be championship caliber club we cant be that.We are going to do everything we can do.  It may not meet our fans needs.  It may not meet the needs of the media.The Yankees let Robinson Cano go…one of the best in the game.  They werent willing to pay what another team was willing to pay, what they thought Cano was worth.  It only takes one team."

Brown asked if Tony Sanchez would settle in to one spot…and if he would play winter ball.

"Another opportunity  for Tony to help a big league club.  It will help our club if he can catch and play first.  This is to see if he can play first base.  A platoon move.  Maybe a late inning move.Its going ok for Tony.  We will see on winter ball.  We will see how the next two weeks play out.  It’s tough in winter ball, they are looking for a guy that can play one key position."

A lot of talk about Pedro Alvarez playing first base.  Neal Huntington simply replied with general comments on it creating a log jam.  NH said Pedro has shown good signs.  Also said Pedro could return to third base next season is option.

The Dads trip discussion.  Clint Hurdle’s idea.

What a great event to do.  Now all the Moms want a Mom trips.  Moms are very jealous now.  We had nice Mother Day, but hasnt had same impact.  The absolute joy….(very cool description by NH)  Its really a low maintenance trip….they come on bus….not a lot of schedule events.  The Dads have always been so appreciative.  One father told Huntington that he hasn’t been able to have this much time one on one with his son in a long time.

Huntingtons dad wouldnt leave the farm.  “typical New Englander…very driven”

How many guys will join club next week?

"Somewhere between 30 and 35 (NH talking about the entire roster number)  We can ..quickly we will get to 35.  Barmes healthy…Morton healthy…Pimentel healthy….there is three players right there.  All of a sudden you get a lot of guys…it can be determinental to the club….it’s a  double edge sword between giving Clint all options in world with trying to keep guys sharp…Indy is fighting for their playoff life.Minor league baseball felt they lost a lot of money games after Labor Day… back in school.I think Jordy misses Clint Barmes more than anyone else.  Jordy has been a workhorse.  When Clint comes back, Clint will try to get Mercer a break.  Barmes swung bat ok this year, our guys tried to fill in.  It will be nice to get Barmes back."

What happen with Stolmy the other night?

"Had one of those nights…got rushed, no groove…if you are behind in the count, I dont care where you are, they are going to hit you.  We look forward to getting him back on the mound tomorrow."

Ernesto Frieri?

"Our guys are positive on him.  WE are seeing some positives….challenge is carrying them into the game.  They arent second nature.  Velocity is good.  He is comfortable with adjustments, just needs to repeat them enough to become muscle memory."

Any trade deadline activity surprise you..

"We are making claims as players come across the board.    This will be an active time…those guys will be running them through in next week.  It’s where we get Byrd, Morneau and Buck last year.  It’s been aggressive claiming period….. we are being aggressive…guys just not getting to us this year."