PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington joined Colin Dunlap and Jim Colony on The Fan Morning Show on Thursday to talk about his team’s plans for the coming weeks, with the non-waiver trade deadline almost three weeks away.
Huntington said that the organization has never been concerned about Gregory Polanco’s long-term prospects for success, and that they view Polanco’s struggles as nothing more than growing pains, even as many fans and media members have raised concerns about Polanco’s progression.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Warmer Temperatures Expected This Weekend
“He was not a hot button topic for us,” Huntington said. “We believe in this young man. We believe in the talent, the person, and we felt like he is a young player that’s going through the maturation process right before our eyes at the major league level. It’s amazing to think that despite all the clamor year ago, I may have rushed him and may have gotten him up here before he was truly ready for it. I have some regrets over that, but now we are helping him learn and grow at the major league level and there has been no doubt in our minds that we’re going to have a very good player, (he is) a very driven young man that was just going through some growing pains and feeling all the pressure and we are working hard to take that pressure off him and put him in a position to help this club win games.”
Huntington said that he’s pleased with this group as-is but would still like to add to it at the trade deadline.
“Whether it’s an arm, whether it’s a bat, whether it’s a role player or two, whether it’s a regular – we would really like to add to this group,” Huntington said. “We like this group, unlike the ‘13 club, where we had lack of production at a couple of spots, without real hope unfortunately, given the guys that were there. We do feel we can get production from some of our soft spots right now. We do like our rotation, we do like our pen, but it’s ever changing and it’s ever changing and we are going to be aggressive in the market and see if there’s a player or players out there that will help us get better, that will help be deeper. If we can’t, this is a good team, but we would certainly love to add to it.”READ MORE: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Taking Action Against Bank Overdraft Fees
Huntington also provided an update on Starling Marte, and talked about whether or not Marte will be put on the disabled list.
“The All-Star break helps us because it’s four days that if we put him on the disabled list we are not playing short, but it also triggers it a little bit quicker because of those four days (between now and the All-Star break,” Huntington said. “He still feels it. We need to be smart. We need to make sure we do the right thing. We’ll see where he is today. Maybe today is the decision point, but if he is feeling better, you don’t want to put him on the disabled list and lose days on the back side because you know we have played about three days short already… it’s a little bit of a challenge and we’ve got to project into the future, but most importantly we got to do what we need to do to get Starling Marte healthy as quickly as possible.”
The interview can be heard here:
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