PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – It’s not easy being the boss. Ask Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington, who has the job of informing players at Spring Training that they won’t be playing in Pittsburgh.
“It’s incredibly challenging,” says Huntington. “We’ve sent some guys to Triple-A that deserve to be in the big leagues and have big league talent. We just don’t have an opportunity for them since we have guys in front of them.”
And Huntington tells KDKA-AM’s Larry and John, that it’s a good problem to have since it means they have great talent to pull from in the future. Huntington talked about the process, as well as finishing up spring training and packing up the team to come to Pittsburgh.
One of the hot button issues for fans has been the status of Gerrit Cole, who has been sent back down to the minors. Fans cry foul, but Huntington says it’s the right move.
“Simply stated, Gerrit Cole still has work to do,” says Huntington. “We’re excited about what he will be in the future. The track record of pitcher who have come to the Big Leagues without 200 profession innings- and Gerrit Cole has 133- is checkered at best. Players who got to the Big Leagues in a hurry have a checkered track record.”
And while he believes Cole could overcome the experience factor, he says that he still needs some work to get him to the right level.
The Pirates open their season on Monday, April 1 at PNC Park.