News and Notes: 9/15
Dejan Kovacevic from the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette had a recent chat. Here are a few of the questions I found to be interesting: (You can read the rest of the chat transcript here)
matt: Do you think there is any chance this front office brings in a legitimate middle of the order bat or front end starter or do you feel like the front office will go dumpster diving
Dejan Kovacevic: I’m getting the feeling that it will be somewhere in between. When you say front-line, I think of really, really front-line types, and the Pirates just aren’t going to do that.
There’s a better chance that you’ll see money invested in pitching than in offense, in large part because of greater need, but also because there is a greater chance of finding help there. If one assumes that the best offensive upgrade is at first base or right field, the list of the latter is basically Jayson Werth and everyone else. The Pirates aren’t going to get Werth.
Ray: Hey, DK. The number of botched bunts this season is bordering on staggering. Are the players bunting on their own, or are they being called for from the bench? You’d think these guys would have it down before they hit the major league level.
Dejan Kovacevic: Anytime there has been a questionable bunt decision — as opposed to simple lack of bunt execution — I have found out for you and the readers who made the call. In the case Monday, it was Russell’s call. When Cedeno put down that ultra-mystifying bunt a couple weeks ago in Milwaukee, that was Cedeno’s call. Same with one that Neil Walker put down in Denver.
As for execution, yes, that needs work.
Neil Walker’s 18-game hit streak ended on Monday’s loss to the Mets. However, his streak did not end without making Pirates History. He tied second-baseman Rennie Stennett for the longest hitting streak by a Rookie. (Stennett did so in 1971)
What did Walker have to say about his streak?
“Part of me is happy that it’s over,” Walker said, “but part of me is happy that it seemed like the hits that I was getting were good hits. Obviously, I knew it was going to come to an end at some point, but I was happy to put a string like that together.”
During his 18-game hitting streak, Walker batted .364 with six doubles, two triples, five home runs, and 18 RBI’s.
“I’m team first, obviously,” Walker said, noting his effort to put the hitting streak behind the Pirates’ results. “At the same time, when good things like this happen, it’s a new experience. Sometimes it’s not a good thing to be thinking about when you’ve got situations where you think you might be walked or pitched around. You want to stay within yourself and stay within your game.”
Jose Tabata –despite going 0-for-3 on Tuesday– has been continuing to impress Management with his consistency. Tabata is batting .329 (28-for-85) and has hit safely in 16 of his past 22 games.
“The kid has done very well,” Russell said. “He is a very mature player for his age. He’s tough to fool twice in one at-bat, which is a great sign.
“Everything he does is energetic. He’s fun to watch. He’s into the game. He’s done very well. We’re very excited that he’s here and that he’s going to be a Pirate for some time.”