Results tagged ‘ john russell ’
The decision of their fate could come after October 3rd, the final game of the Pirates season.
There has really been no indication of who will stay and who will go as of yet. But you can assume changes will be made to the staff after having a disastrous season.
One mostly likely to stay could be bench coach Jeff Bainster who has been in the Pirates organization for 25 years. (He was promoted in August after Gary Varsho was fired).
John Russell’s original staff –all hired in 2007– consist of: hitting coach Don Long, third base coach Tony Beasley and bullpen coach Luis Dorante.
“The staff-evaluation process is a challenge anytime you’re in a non-winning environment,” Huntington said. “When you transition the club toward youth essentially three times in three years, with the number of players we’ve been through, the coaching changes we made in the middle of the season, we’ve certainly added to the challenge in evaluating our coaches.”
General Manager Neal Huntington did express the importance of good signs from the team through the remainder of the season.
“It’s important for us not only to continue to work hard but also to make a positive impact on these players, to get them to grow up individually and collectively.
“We look forward to the time where wins and losses become the primary evaluation tool. We’re not there. There’s a lot more that will go into the evaluation of our organization as a whole.”
John Russell’s does have a contract through 2011 but President Frank Coonelly has said, “nobody’s job is absolutely safe” even if they have a contract next season
It’s been a rough year for Morton, the Bucs, as they are swept by the Mets and drop to 50 games under .500 with the 6-2 loss on a rainy Thursday night in Queens.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Pirates’ record is 48-98. The huge problem is the lack of wins on the road this season.
After finishing 1-6 during this two-city road stop in Cincinnati and New York, the Pirates road record is 15-59. There are only seven more road games left this season and you can only hope things don’t get worse.
Why is it so hard for the Pirates to win on the road this season? That is the question no one can figure out. It’s mind blowing how few games they have been able to win.
What’s Ryan Doumit’s take?
What is done differently at home vs away from PNC Park? (The Bucs are 33-39 at home this season)
The losses are tough on the players, but they continue to go out everyday and play hard.
“It’s tough, but we’re playing hard and that’s all we can keep doing,” Jones said. “We can’t focus on the wins and losses. We’ve just got to keep trying to play hard and try to win.”
Take a deep breath and read through these stats pretty quickly:
Charlie Morton pitched five innings giving up two runs on five hits. Morton struggled with his command and walked four batters while striking out just one.
“I made one bad pitch,” Morton said. “I hung a changeup and it got hit and two runs scored.”
“I feel like if I had been more aggressive, things would have turned out better and I would have been able to go deeper in the game,” Morton said. “I put myself in those bad situations by not being aggressive early and not making guys hit the ball. I would much rather have given up four more hits as opposed to those four walks. You’d like to make guys earn their way on the bases.”
There are some positives from his outing though, his ERA dropped to 8.61 –the lowest it has been all season. He also has been working on a few things with his delivery, which are slowly paying off.
“He wasn’t quite as sharp as his last outing, but it was still progress,” Russell said. “He kept us in the game. He got out of a couple jams. He did what he needed to do to get through it.”
The Bullpen let the Mets run away with the win after allowing four runs through three innings.
Manager John Russell announced that Zach Duke will remain in starting rotation after having a much better side session.
“He’s been working on some things, had better tempo, better arm speed,” Russell said of Duke’s side session. “We took some hitters down to watch him. He was good. Hopefully, that’s something he can build off. He looked more … Zach-ish, I would say.”
Russell had previously said Duke has consistently looked good during his side session despite having horrible outings.
“This was a little different. He was a little less choppy, more fluid, more aggressive down in the zone. The kid’s worked hard. I’d like to give him the opportunity to straighten some things out.”
Pitching coach Ray Searage said his biggest thing to overcome would be his mind.
“The biggest thing was not trusting himself — trying to make his stuff better rather than taking the stuff that he had in the side into the game,” Searage said, when asked if he could pinpoint the root of Duke’s recent struggles. “Instead, he’s trying to make the slider sharper that much more or the sinker sink that much more or the changeup be that much more of a deception pitch. He got out of himself. We’re trying to help him find his identity to be Zach again.”
Duke will start on Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park.
· Jeff Clement is to undergo knee surgery on Wednesday. There is no time table for his return and he won’t know until afterward if he will be ready for Spring Training.
· Brad Lincoln was re-called on September 7th, but has yet to throw a single ball (or strike) out of the ‘pen. This should be changing soon.
Lincoln threw an extended side season on Wednesday with pitching Coach Ray Searage. They have been working one-on-one trying to get Lincoln back mechanically to where he was early in the summer.
John Russell said that Lincoln had “been doing some good things” on the side and expects him to be available from the bullpen during the Pirates final home stand starting on Friday.
Before the game on Wednesday, Manager John Russell was asked if a decision was made on whether Zach Duke would remain in the starting rotation.
Russell said that the club has not yet decided and that the decision would come “Today or tomorrow.”
No announcement was made on Wednesday.
John Russell was to meet with General Manager Neal Huntington along with Pitching Coach Ray Searage to determine what options they have.
“If we decide to do something, we’ll discuss the options at that point,” Russell said. “I really don’t have anything to say on it.”
John Bowker has made a good impression since he was re-called. The coaching staff were very impressed by his defense at first base on Sunday. They also expect to use him quite often the remainder of the season.
“I’d like to give him a little bit more of a look,” Russell said. “He’s got bat speed, very direct to the ball, some power … instincts on the field.”
Brad Lincoln has yet to be used out of the ’pen since being re-called a week ago but has continued throwing on the side.
“We’re making a lot of progress,” Ray Searage said. ”His neck, which had been stiff two weeks ago, is fully recovered.”
Both Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata have been given the green light to steal. John Russell’s intention is to get the top two in the order to be more aggressive on the bases and for them to be considered as a “threat” for the 2011 season.
“That’s how you’re going to learn,” Russell said. “We can create a lot of really fun things with that. Once they start to get a taste of it — Andrew is going to keep going, and so is Jose. When you pull off a couple double steals, now they know. They’re going to be a pretty good tandem.”
When Octavio Dotel was traded to the Dodgers on July 31st, Manager John Russell annouced that both Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek would both split time closing games. He also said they wouldn’t use one or the other primarily and that they would both get the opportunity.
Fast-forward to mid-September and John Russell is annoucing the exact same thing.
I also blogged about this issue a few weeks ago.
“We were really going to get [rotating] into it more with Evan until he got injured,” Russell said. “Unfortunately, you don’t want to bring a guy back and throw him right into the closer’s role. He will get hopefully a lot more opportunities between now and the end of the season.”
Of the eight save opportunities Meek has only had two of them. Meek was sidelined for a week due to a hand injury but Hanrahan was given the majority of the save opportunities even before then.
Now, I’m not trying to gang up on Hanrahan here. I think they both would make great closers. But I do think that if Russell says they will share the duties then they should.
The problem with not making a decision on a closer until Spring Training in 2011 is that there are not very many save oppurtunities given. Mostly throughout Spring Training they would be facing a lot of the minor club as well.
“It’s something I’ve thought about,” Russell said. “We’ll talk about it this winter, because it is difficult to compete in spring training in that role.”
Although he is still mum on who he prefers as the closer, he did say this:
“I would think that, no matter who is the closer, the other will still have opportunities. If you have four or five save opportunities in a row, you can’t use the same guy.”
Russell said further discussion about who might fit better in the role will wait until the offseason, as the bullpen’s makeup becomes clearer.
Manager John Russell fully expects Ronny Cedeno to be the Pirates starting shortstop in 2011.
“I think Ronny’s made a pretty good statement,” Russell said. “He’s done some very good things, especially in the second half. He’s still got some things to accomplish. He’s made great strides in a lot of areas.”
Cedeno–who has started in 110 games this season– is batting .245 with six homers, 31 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.
“It’s not an easy position to fill,” Russell said. “This isn’t a make-or-break three weeks for him. He’s made a lot of progress. I see no reason why Ronny Cedeno shouldn’t be our shortstop.”
Pedro Ciriaco and Argenis Diaz, who are both currently with the club can play short stop as well.
“It’s nice to hear him [John Russell] say that,” Cedeno said. “I want to gain some consistency. Right now I’m just trying to help the team win. I’d like to be the man, the everyday shortstop next year. We’ll see what happens.”
“We’re hoping, but September evaluations are tough,” Russell said. “We’ve got a lot of guys. There are guys we feel good about. Obviously we’d like a guy to be in the lineup everyday and do what corner outfielders do. But we’re not there yet.”
A total of six players have played in right field this season, Garrett Jones leading the team with 45 appearences.
Manager John Russell doesn’t expect to determine the every day player by the end of the season. He’s hoping someone makes the most of the opppurtunity and runs with it.
Garrett Jones, Lastings Milledge, Ryan Doumit, John Bowker, Brandon Moss and Alex Presley are all being considered to be the every day right fielder but that doesn’t mean the Pirates wont pursue other options in the free-agent market.
“We’ve got some good candidates in-house,” he said. “It could be intriguing. We’ve got some guys who’ve had some success. We’ll look at our options this winter and see what’s available to us.”
Brad Lincoln was among one of the eight guys called up from Triple-A Indy on Tuesday. Lincon had a dissapointing stay when he was re-called earlier this season.
John Russell said his use for the remainder of the season will be out of the Bullpen, something Lincoln hasn’t done since being drafted in 2006.
The move is to help Lincoln work on his mechanics and it in no way suggests he will become a reliever in the future.
“We’ll get him built back up a little bit,” manager John Russell said. “He’s going to have some time to do some things with [pitching coach] Ray [Searage] and get back on track.”
Lincoln said he has recovered fully from neck stiffness that caused him to go on the DL.
“The box score might not have shown it, but I felt my stuff and velocity was good,” said Lincoln, who combined to allow six earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. “I was just finding barrels. But as far as how I felt? I probably felt the best since getting back from being up here.”
Brad did say that the minor adjustments that were made when he was starting with the Pirates effected him mentally. [Perhaps a good reason why Joe Kerrigan was let go. He changed a lot of the Pitchers mehanics, and lets face it, the Pirates pitching has crumbled this season.]
“It wasn’t a major mechanical delivery change, but there were checkpoints that were kind of just different from what I was used to and maybe made me focus too much on stuff there which, in turn, made me not focused on getting the hitter out,” Lincoln said. “So it was more mental for me.”