Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington talked Angel Pagan, Jameson Taillon’s potential return & more on his weekly radio show.
Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington makes a weekly radio hit on the team’s flagship radio station 93.7 The Fan. Each Sunday, Pirates Breakdown will bring you a recapping of Huntington’s show, picking out the best tidbits from the show, hosted by Greg Brown. Let’s get started.
All quotes are direct from Neal Huntington as told to Greg Brown.
On If the Team Will Look Outside the Organization for a Fourth Outfielder Or Other Depth Piece
We continue to look around the Major Leagues and survey the landscape…Angel Pagan actually said he was going to sit the season out at the same time as we heard of the Marte suspension; we touched base in spring training with his representative, but he indicated to us that he was not interested, which we later found out was due to his wanting to sit out the 2017 season.
On Much of the Team’s Recent Struggle Without David Freese and Adam Frazier
It’s been a challenging year no question; every team has injuries and players out of the lineup; unfortunately for us it started with Jung Ho Kang and the punch in the nose with Starling Marte being out for 80 days with no advance notice whatsoever; this team is working to roll with the punches; each of those two [Frazier and Freese] are working their way back in; we are a small market – and that is not an excuse but it is a reality – small markets have little margin for error. We have been tested early. But our club is resilient.
On a Potential Update to Jameson Taillon‘s Health
An important part of the process was on Monday when he actually had the surgery; that went well. There are a couple of markers ahead of us; he’s chomping at the bit but so far so good; we still have some hurdles to cross.
Brown followed up by asking Huntington if he had a “best case scenario” in mind for Taillon’s eventual return. Huntington responded:
We know more after the surgery but there are still some unknowns we have to work through before we can really wrap our heads around a likely scenario, a conservative scenario or an aggressive scenario. I can promise you that Jameson will take the aggressive scenario if we left the question completely up to him.
On The Temptation to Convert Wade LeBlanc to a Starting Pitcher based on His Performance
We are not close minded to it. When we signed LeBlanc, we envisioned a possible scenario where he could be stretched out as a starting pitcher. But, he has been so valuable to us in his current role – able to come in and stop the bleeding or come in during high leverage situations. He’s comfortable in that role and we are comfortable and confident with him in that position.
On Tyler Glasnow‘s Rough Start Against the Diamondbacks
We were reminded that he is a 23 year old with a great arm; and that the maturation process as a pitcher is not where it will be over time. Just like Trevor [Williams] had a hard time slowing down that one inning in Los Angeles, Glasnow had trouble slowing down in his bad inning. As good as his stuff is, major league hitters will not miss it when he is missing where he was missing.
On Kevin Kramer‘s Ascent at Double-A Altoona
Kevin is a guy that our amateur scouting department loved the bat and loved the maturity. The decision making process, the presence in the box…now with our selection of Kevin Newman, Kramer has ended up with more time at second base. He’s maturing there, but there is already a mature presence in the bat. He has a command of the zone and an ability to use the entire field. There is power there, but intangibles as well. He is pushing to make that next move, and that move beyond that. And that is a very good thing.