PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington joined Greg Brown Sunday for his weekly show on The Fan.
Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole is 4-3 with a 3.76 ERA in 2014. Huntington said that he doesn’t know if Cole realizes how good his fastball is.
“There are times that maybe he maybe runs to the breaking ball a little bit too frequently,” Huntington said. “He can blow up bats in, he can blow up bats up, he can make hitters miss down, he can make hitters chase away with his fastball. We’re not sure he fully understands how good his fastball is yet.”
Brown asked Huntington about prospect Gregory Polanco. Huntington said in the current era dominated by pitching, hitters have a harder time rapidly progressing through the minors.
“Our hope is that he will be better than what we are running out there right now,” Huntington said. “But, our hope is that we bring him up when he’s ready to come up here and thrive, and not just survive.”
Brown asked Huntington if the veteran pitchers in Triple-A start to take advantage of Polanco the second time they see him.
“What’s actually been encouraging, Brownie, is Gregory’s making some adjustments. He has holes, he has flaws in his swing, he tries to do too much at times. But, his evolution as a hitter has been fun to watch,” Huntington said.
The Pirates designated pitcher Wandy Rodriguez for assignment last week, and Huntington said that the club felt they had pitchers who could put them in a better position to win.
“Every decision for every organization has financial considerations and financial ramifications. Were we cognizant of the money that Wandy Rodriguez is making? Absolutely. But. given where we are, given where we want to go, and we’re not always going to be able to do this, but we felt it was the right move to bring in a guy that we felt put us in a position to better win a game,” Huntington said.
To replace Rodriguez, Huntington said it’s the club’s intent to start Brandon Cumpton on Monday in New York. However, Huntington said that they’re comfortable with either Cumpton or Jeff Locke stepping into the rotation.
“We’re in a really good situation. We’ve got a couple of guys, and not too far away from having three or four guys, that we feel like could make starts for us if need be,” Huntington said.