BRADENTON (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates second baseman Neil Walker sat down with “The Fan Morning Show” at Spring Training on Wednesday to talk about his offseason and the upcoming 2014 season.
Here is some of what he had to say:
On what the Pirates’ hitters have been looking to do this offseason:
“Obviously, our pitching staff and defense carried us a lot of the year, and we did enough offensively, but we still feel like there’s kind of more in the tank. So, that’s something that we’ve made an emphasis on this spring is to collectively work on our approach, collectively know the situations, know where you’re hitting in the order, who’s hitting behind you, what the [pitcher] wants to do to you.”
On what he hopes to improve on individually:
“Consistency seemed to avoid me for most of the year. I need to be a little more consistent all around the board.”
On A.J. Burnett’s departure:
“I’m real happy for him. You know, it’s a shame he didn’t come back, but he’s gone from our friend and teammate to still a friend, but we’re trying to kick his butt when we go back out there. So, we’re going to try to put a ten-spot up on him if we can.”
On what he’s working on offensively:
“I got a little pull-happy last year in my approach, as opposed to staying a little bit more in the middle of the field, and that’s something that’s going to be a focal point for me this year is to get back in the middle of the field. Because once you get exploited a little bit from the offensive side of things, they’re going to keep pounding you there until you make adjustments.”
On how the team reacted to Andrew McCutchen’s wedding proposal on Ellen:
“At first they were mad, because they knew that he just kind of set the bar as far as the players wives, and girlfriends. He set the bar a little bit higher. And then after that, they were happy for him.”
“We’ve busted him a little bit, [but] we tipped the cap, because that takes a lot of [guts].”
The interview can be heard here:
The Fan Morning Show will be broadcasting live from Pirates spring training in Bradenton every day this week. Listen to them live 5:40-10 a.m. and visit 937thefan.com to get interview summaries and audio after the show.