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Pirates

Ray Searage Says He Doesn’t Expect A.J. Burnett To Return

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(Photo Credit: Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage talked to The Fan Morning Show live from the team’s voluntary workouts in Bradenton, Fla. Thursday to talk about the team’s preparation for the 2014 season.

During the interview, he said he doesn’t expect A.J. Burnett to return to the Pirates.

“I’m on that percentage point where he’s not going to come back,” Searage said. “I’ve got to prepare the pitching with no A.J, so that’s the route I’m going right now. If he does come back, alright. But right now, I’m leaning that way, where he’s going to retire.”

He explained that there isn’t any information on Burnett’s decision yet, though.

“There isn’t any information on A.J.,” Searage added. “We’re still waiting.”

Searage’s comments on Burnett can be heard here:

Searage also talked about his work with the Pirates’ existing pitching staff down in Bradenton.

He said it’s important to keep things simple for newcomer Edinson Volquez, and to not overload him with too many tasks to work on at once. He thinks that working with Volquez will be a “win-win situation.”

When it comes to reclamation projects like Volquez, he aims to “kill them with kindness,” because his staff has the experience, credibility and knowledge to guide these guys — and now it’s simply about helping them learning it.

Searage said that Jeff Locke got fatigued last year, and that Locke losing his arm strength and being unable to get it back caused issues for him both mechanically and mentally.

His goal this offseason has been to get back to basics with Locke this year and try to “wipe the slate clean.”

He also listed some things that Jameson Taillon needs to work on to become major league ready, noting that Taillon is “still a baby,” but, “mature upstairs.”

The entire interview can be heard here:

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