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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said they are going to fight every day and believes they have made steps to be better in 2013.
Huntington told Vinnie and Cook on 93.7 The Fan, it starts with a better offense.
“We’re going to get on base more, we’re [going to] be better on the bases. That’s a focus we’ve had this Spring Training. We’re to start getting into the middle-relievers of the opposition sooner than we did a year ago. We’re still going to change the score with one swing of the bat, but we’ve got to get more guys on base and we do feel this lineup is equipped to do that,” Huntington said.
Huntington said he believes his pitching will improve as the season progresses as Jeff Karstens, Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton recover from injuries.
“James McDonald has taken a lot of heat this offseason. He’s a guy who almost pitched himself into an All-Star Game. Eleven of the 14 season months that James has been with us he’s had a sub-four ERA. The last two last years were tough. But we do think he’s healthy, we do think he’s in a good place mentally and physically and we’re looking for a good bounce back.”
The six-year Bucs general manager was also asked about former No.1 pick Gerrit Cole, who will start the season in the minor leagues.
“Gerrit Cole still has some things to work on,” Huntington said. “A Triple-A line-up handed him his head in September a year ago and he tried to throw harder. He learned very quickly, Triple-A hitters can hit 100 mph. You better locate, throw your breaking balls for strikes. He showed signs in Spring Training, but if you remember Spring Training the last three years, we’ve had the home run leader and none of those players are on current rosters. Spring Training is what Spring Training is.”
Listen to the full interview here: