The Latest Pirates Buzz
— The Pirates brass has gone into the season with an open mind on the team’s starting rotation and are hopeful that their pitching depth in the minors will push some members of the starting five.
There’s a few members of this staff who will be on short leashes as the Pirates won’t be afraid to look for help via trade or possibly explore options internally.
“Need to find 5 guys who give our ball club a legitimate chance to win, ” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said on Sunday.
In fact, Huntington said during his weekly radio show on Sunday that the best case scenario for the Pirates would be for one of their top young guys in Triple-A Indy to push a current starter out of the top-5.
Huntington mentioned Brad Lincoln and Rudy Owens as two of the players who give the Pirates options this season. There’s a lot of intrigue about Owens from those inside the organization.
— There continues to be whispers that the Pirates are really down on Scott Olsen. Olsen is currently throwing off a bullpen mound during his rehab process and at this point there’s no plans from the team to work him back in as a starter.
— A big opportunity for Charlie Morton Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. Huntington today called Morton’s progression this spring “very encouraging”.
Some differences in Morton is that he’s attacking down in the zone more consistently and according to Huntington, Morton’s 2 seamer is “more alive than ever”.
During the spring, he reached 97 but his fastball has sat in 92-93 with more velocity and movement, Huntington mentioned.
Morton also dealt with adversity well during the spring, bouncing back well against the Phillies on Tuesday after his shaky start against the Rays.
There has been a lot of positive signs that Morton might rebound but what he did in the spring goes out the window starting on Monday.