Some thoughts from GM Neal Huntington

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Here are some excerpts from general manager Neal Huntington’s Sunday radio show…

On if there is concern about the bullpen struggling the rest of the year: “We are a little bit concerned that we’re going to through some young, inexperienced pitchers into situations they’re not ready to handle. We may explore some options outside the organization to bring in a guy or two who has some experience back there. Or we might just go with the guys that we have to see if they can show us if they can be a part of this team this year and beyond.”

“We moved some older pieces that we think and believe we can replace whether it’s short-term or certainly in the long-term.

“We need our starters to get us deeper into the games. We’re going to need to somehow take those high leverage outs in the sixth and seventh inning and turn those into quality performances from our bullpen.”

On who will assume closer’s role: “JR really believes – and I agree with him – that we have two guys that are very capable of doing it. We’ve got two guys we are excited about that we feel capable can close out our wins in the ninth inning. We’re not going to lock into one guy for the rest of the year.

“For the rest of this year, it’s probably both guys getting the opportunity. We don’t want one guy to blow a save or have a rough outing and think that he’s destined to be a set-up guy for the rest of his career. We’re definitely in the process of trying to choose our closer. At this point in time, we want to give both an opportunity to show that they can be the closer moving forward.”

On whether any of the trades were financially driven: “As a matter of fact, we took on payroll this year. We actually sent a little bit of money to the Dodgers. We’re going to take on payroll this year. So the cash saving is really a moot point.”

On whether the club ever considered using D.J. Carrasco as a starter: “We did. He’s a gamer. He brings multiple arm slots. He competes. We talked about it internally, and I think if we got into a situation where we didn’t have another option internally that we like long-term then we would have gone to D.J. As we looked as this year’s club, as we looked at next year’s club, were we going to meet D.J.’s request to start? We didn’t think so.”

On the addition of Chris Snyder and the effect that has on Ryan Doumit’s future: “Was there something we could do to improve our pitching through helping our catching situation? Ryan is good when he plays four, five days a week out of the six games or the seven games. Ryan gets worn down. When Ryan is sharp, he does a nice job for us.

“Ryan and Chris will now share the time behind home plate, with Chris getting the majority of it.”

On if the defense could suffer with Doumit in outfield or at first: “We’ll see. Quite candidly, we haven’t really seen Ryan Doumit in right field. Much like it was when he was catching, if he can be adequate and swing the bat for us, then he can certainly fill a role in the lineup. Time will tell. The indications are from those who have seen him play outfield in the past are that he can be adequate.”

Some other odds and ends:

  • RHP James McDonald will join the club on Monday, after which the Pirates will determine his immediate role. Huntington said the plans is to work him into the rotation, though it remains to be seen if that happens this week
  • McDonald’s plan will affect Daniel McCutchen, who would be sent down to open up
  • Huntington reaffirmed the plan to keep three catchers on the roster once Doumit comes off the disabled list.
  • Doumit will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. He will get work both in right field and behind the plate.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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