PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- The Pirates promoted Jeff Branson to hitting coach in November after Jay Bell left for the Cincinnati Reds.
Dan Zangrilli asked Branson if the Pirates have to accept the baggage of strikeouts with Pedro Alvarez to go along with the home runs and hot streaks.
“I think you’re going to have the baggage of strikeouts. I think that’s part of what Pedro’s going to be. Can it improve? Yeah. Will it improve? I really hope so,” Branson said. “With the numbers that he puts up as far as extra base hits, his power numbers, home runs and RBIs, I can live with a higher number of strikeouts.”
Branson added that he wants Alvarez to cut down on strikeouts, without cutting down on his swing.
Zangrilli asked Branson about his approach to working with hitters.
“I’m not set in stone about one thing, it’s about whatever works for the hitter,” Branson said. “It’s going to be about us going to the plate, being stubborn, being committed to something and staying with it regardless of the result.”
Zangrilli mentioned the increasing number of strikeouts across baseball, and asked if the strikeout annoys Branson.
“Without a doubt, especially the strikeout looking,” Branson said. “I haven’t forgotten how hard this game is, and I know Clint (Hurdle) hasn’t either. It’s going to happen, but there’s no reason to consistently strike out, especially with a fastball that’s out over the plate.”