It is a time of the year that is starting to become commonplace for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is in both a division and wild card race and each decision is becoming more important than the next.
With that in mind, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington discussed innings counts and director of player personnel Tyrone Brooks reportedly being courted by the Milwaukee Brewers for their vacant general manager position.
Brooks is in his 20th year in baseball and has had stops with the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. He has been with the Pirates since September of 2011.
With that background, here are Huntington’s remarks:
On Tyrone Brooks being interviewed by the Brewers: “We will rarely deny permission if request. Tyrone Brooks has an impeccable pedigree. He’s been in every major personnel decision we’ve had here, so his behalf I can speak about his experiences and what a top shelf man he is. If someone were to hire him and their GM, they’re going to get a really talented man. If he chooses to stay here or stays here, then we’re fortunate he’s chosen to stay with us.
“A big part of our obligation is to help people grow. Hopefully they’re here, but they’re not always here. If it’s somewhere else, we’ll take a lot of pride in that. Mark DelPiano is going to be a great farm director for the Miami Marlins. It hurts to lose good people, but a part of our obligation is to help our staff grow and give them bigger opportunities and help them take roles they feel are better for them personally and professionally.”
How flattering it is to even have this conversation: “Very much so. I’m a very proud, small twig on the John Hart tree of front office executives. We want good people to get good opportunities elsewhere. Our challenge is how do we replace and that’s where we don’t stop our quest to get good, quality people to the organization. It’s an honor and a sign that we are doing things right as an organization.”
If anyone will be called up because of Tuesday’s doubleheader: “It’s 18 innings to cover and the bullpen has covered a lot of innings recently despite the numbers. You still have to cover nine innings on Wednesday as well and every one of those innings is probably going to be meaningful. We’re at the point of the year where a rested club is as important as a good club. There is a chance we could make a move or two ahead of Tuesday’s game.”
Does Jung Ho Kang’s success boost Asian scouting: “Right now the foreign scouting department, isn’t more than a few people. We’ve talked a lot about wanting to be in a position to acquire talent and many different ways. Our challenge is with Kang’s success, the price goes up as it’s done with the Cuban players and every market. You need to be realistic about what markets you can play in. We’ve done our due diligence in Korea and seen the players we’ve need to. We’ve done the same with Japan and Cuba. It depends on where the market goes and we’ve set the market.”
Cole’s inning count: “Gerrit’s inning threshold is nearing a point where it’s being discussed a lot, but we’re aware of a lot of different things with Gerrit and we’re still feeling confident with where he is.”
Liriano redlining? : “He’s approaching an innings count he hasn’t been to in five or six years. The science shows us it’s potentially more harmful for a 24-25 year old than someone in their late 20’s or early 30’s. Liriano has thrown 160-something innings each of the past two seasons because of injuries. He’s as strong as you can be at this point in time. He looks good, he’s throwing the ball well and he’s adamant that he’s ready to continue to go deep into the rotation with us.”
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