BRADENTON (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – The “KDKA Morning News” with Larry and John is bringing back the Bucs! We are in Bradenton this week to give you everything you need to know about the 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates. From well-known stars like Cutch and Harrison, to the new faces you will see every day this summer.

David Freese is one of the newest Pirates. You may remember him as a Bucco killer when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals a couple seasons ago.

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He said you can’t help think about the history he has with the Pirates. However, now that he is here, he says he is going to do his best to help the Pirates win.

“The longer you play in this game, you’re going to have friends on the other side. But, when you strap that uniform on, it’s go time and you try and win with the club you’re on,” said Freese

Freese doesn’t know much about Pittsburgh yet, but says he’s getting to know his way around.

“[I’ve] been to a concert at Stage AE next door [to PNC Park], been to Pamala’s, had some breakfast, but I’m excited to get out [in Pittsburgh],” he said.

Pirates pitching ace Gerrit Cole says he feels “good” and is looking forward to the season.

“[The team] has won a lot of games over the past three years, almost 300 games and been to the postseason three times. I feel like we’ve constructed a club that’s going to have some sustainable success,” he said.

The Pirates have won a lot of games over the past three seasons, but have started out slow each time. Cole says he isn’t too concerned about a slow start again.

“I think we were something like .500 by June 1 last year and we ended up with the second best record in baseball,” said Cole.

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Pirates President Frank Coonelly tells Larry and John that he can’t wait to get the season started and they want to improve on the slow start the team has had the past few seasons.

“As we all know, we have not gotten out of the gates well over the last three years and not withstanding that, we put ourselves to get into the post-season. We want that division, it’s been elusive and one way we can get that division is to come out hungry on April 3 ready to go,” he said.

Pirates broadcaster Bob Walk is getting ready to start his 23rd season in the broadcast booth. The former Bucco pitcher said he thinks the addition of Freese brings the Pirates, “back to where we were last year with our depth over there at second [base], shortstop, third [base] position.”

Walk says right now he thinks the team is going to start the season with about a 90-91 win roster.

“Now, if somebody takes that big leap, whether it’s on offense or starting rotation wise…now you get up there into the mid to upper 90s perhaps and take home a division.”

KDKA also was able to speak with Pedro Alvarez about his new position with the Orioles.

Listen to the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

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