Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Batting Practice

-- Neal Huntington had his weekly on-line chat. Here's what he said:

On the draft: "We focused more on quality this year over quantity. We were more focused on signing talent than filling a short-season roster with a college senior.

We would have liked to have added a few more players, but we lost some in the delay of the signing process, and we had others whose [asking price] increased after the Draft."

On Lastings Milledge: "We felt Lastings still had the tools to be an above-average Major League player.

Lastings has been very candid about the level of instruction he has had in the past and how excited he is to be working with our instructors. There is no questioning that Nyjer has played far better for the Nationals than he did for the Pirates, but we remain optimistic about the impact Lastings will make for the Pirates."

-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com saved GW some legwork. She looked up what all the new Pirate minor league prospects are doing, how the ex-Buccos are playing in their new digs, and posted the results here.

She also had an unexpected blurb on Phil Dumatrait: "Judging by Huntington's expression, I'd say the Pirates are very hesitant to add Dumatrait to the big league roster. His numbers haven't been good, and I've not heard very positive reports about his stuff in Indy. Since Dumatrait is out of options, the Pirates could put him on waivers and assign him to Triple-A once he passes through."

-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette tells us how the Pirates will find innings for all the arms they've drafted in the past two years: "The Pirates plan to piggyback starters with both Class A teams next year. Some of that already is happening at West Virginia and Bradenton. In the piggyback (system), prospects pitch 3-4 innings each of a given game, each treated as a start because the second guy enters only with a clean inning."

Two starters per game also plays into the Pirates' obsession with low pitch counts, though we fail to see where it helps get them to pitch deeper into games.

-- Ryan Braun, take note. According to Chris Haft of MLB.com: "Two days after a scary beaning that put him on the disabled list with a concussion, David Wright returned to Citi Field on Monday and met with the man who threw the pitch: Matt Cain.

When he met with the Giants pitcher, the discussion included an extended hand and a pat on the shoulder. He said, 'I understand it was an accident,' said Cain."

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