Pirates GM Neal Huntington “still waiting for relievers to step up”


By John Perrotto_The focus of the Pirates’ spring training camp has been the starting rotation but the bullpen is even more unsettled with the April 6 opener at St. Louis less than two weeks away. The rotation is 60 percent set with left-handers Paul Maholm and Zach Duke assured of spots along with right-hander Ian Snell while two jobs remain open in a three-man competition between Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Virgil Vasquez. Conversely, less than half of the seven bullpen jobs have been filled as the Pirates are still looking for four relievers to fill in behind closer Matt Capps, left-handed set-up man John Grabow and right-handed set-up man Tyler Yates. “Quite frankly, we’re, still waiting for people to step up,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Nobody has really distinguished themselves.” Left-hander Sean Burnett appeared to be all

Pirates pick up option on John Russell


The Pittsburgh Pirates have exercised the 2010 club option of manager John Russell. The announcement was made by Neal Huntington, the Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager. Russell will begin his second season as the manger of the Pirates this year after being named to his current position on November 5, 2007. ‚ÄúJR met or exceeded expectations in his first year as the Pirates manager. His club worked hard to play the game properly and battled from the first out until the last,‚Äù said Huntington. ‚ÄúHis leadership, knowledge, attention to detail, ability to see the big picture and passion for things being done the right way made him the ideal choice as our manager a year ago and made the decision to pick up his option for 2010 an easy decision. I look forward to working closely with him for years to come as we build a consistent championshipRead More »