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Ray Searage On Volquez’s Progress, Morton’s Evolution & Locke

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BRADENTON (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage sat down with “The Fan Morning Show” at Spring Training on Wednesday to discuss his work with the staff this offseason.

Here is some of what he had to say:

On what he’s working on with Edinson Volquez:
“We’re trying to get his delivery consistent. It’s a reconstruction, really, right now- not only physically, in the delivery, but also mentally. Whereas before, he pitched off his changeup. What I’m trying to do with him right now, is to pitch off his fastball more, and it’s going to be in slow increments to make sure that he gets that going.

On how that process will play out:
“We’ve got a bullpen [session] today. Yesterday was very important, because it was the day after he pitched, to make sure that his throwing program was done correctly, because he really didn’t have too much structure in that area. So today, now we take another step forward, and we try to construct that bullpen, and try to get him to do certain things in the bullpen like pitch out of the stretch the majority of the time today, and try to get that timing and that rhythm, and this way, [he’ll] use the fastball more. So, that’s what we’re working on right now.”

On the challenges of that process:
“This is going to be a slow process, but he’s a very smart kid. But, he tries so hard to do what you want to do to try to please you that sometimes it has the adverse effect.”

On the decision to sign Volquez:
“I was one of the guys that was an advocate to get him aboard. I really believe that with the help from Euclides Rojas and Jim Benedict that we can get this Edinson Volquez on track. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be a bed of roses. People are going to look [at it] like, oh, he’s not doing- you know, it’s going to happen.”

On what areas he has seen Charlie Morton improve in:
“Maturity, leadership qualities, and especially the way he’s speaking about himself. To watch this transformation of Charlie becoming the man, the pitcher, the major league guy, it’s really beautiful to see.”

On how being a veteran has helped Morton evolve:
“Sometimes having a kid, a baby, kind of speeds up the process of maturation.”

On the discomfort that caused Jeff Locke to be scratched from his most recent start:
“It’s not pain, it’s a stiffness. In order for us to make sure that it’s not a problem, we nip it in the bud, and we’re going to make an err on the side of caution. So, we banged him on his start. It’s improving every day, so we’re just going to make sure that Jeffery is 110 percent good to go.”

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.

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