PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington joined The Fan Morning Show on Friday to discuss his current team, but also the future, a day after drafting two high school prospects with picks 9 and 14 in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft,
The biggest question right now is about the health of Wandy Rodriguez who had to leave his start in the first inning on Wednesday. Huntington says there inflammation in the elbow but the ligament is sound. “We are hoping to avoid the DL with Wandy” Huntington said “We are not going to need a 5th starter until 5 days after the off day on Monday”. Huntington said the extra days will help bounce around guys to find an option. Rodriguez may not even miss a start.
There is still a need for another starter with Jeanmar Gomez out and some possible candidates are Charlie Morton or James McDonald who both are working on rehab stints. “McDonald had another really rough start last night.” Huntington said. “We have seen the good and bad McDonald in his rehab starts”. As for Morton, Huntington said he still appears to be close. He is not ready to say publicly who may be the the guy or guys they will fill that spot with.
Gerrit Cole is the one the fans have been asking about, “Cole is making quality progress” Huntington said. “We can understand why the interest is there and we really like him but we are not ready to say publicly that he is a candidate but not ready to say that he isn’t.”
Huntington said he is not concerned with the innings being thrown by the bullpen because they are monitoring it closely and they expect the starters will extend their outings.
The Pirates offense has been in a slump as of late and Huntington says it’s because they have gotten away from their approach and are pressing too hard. He also said they have run in to a great deal of quality pitching. Huntington says that the plan is to remain aggressive and he is confident that this lineup will provide enough offense.
Huntington is also smiling today because of two quality high school prospects in last night’s MLB Draft.
The Pirates selected OF Austin Meadows with the 9th overall pick and C Reese McGuire with the 14th overall pick. Both are high school players.
“We like both” Huntington said. “Meadows was a talent we had ranked higher than 9th on our board…We like the bat, the athlete, frame, he runs well.” as for Maguire Huntington says he was who they were looking for at 9 and so they were happy to get him at 14. “We love how he receives the ball, the block and the arm.” Huntington adds.
The Pirates have lost 5 of their last 6 games but remain 10 games over .500 as they open a three game series in Chicago today at 2:20 pm. The Game can be heard on 93-7 The Fan.
Listen to the full interview: