Quote of the Day: Angry Bob Smizik is angry

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It’s pretty clear that no one can believe anything coming out of the
mouth of Coonelly. Not only is he a liar, he’s guilty of lying to the
fans. Can he ever be believed? What little credence the Pirates front office had with the public is
shredded. These guys are a joke.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Bob Smizik reacting to Frank Coonelly’s announcement yesterday that the Pirates had extended the contract of GM Neal Huntington and exercised the 2011 option for manager John Russell.  He also calls Coonelly a fraud and a bunch of other things.

OK, yeah, it’s odd that Coonelly and the team wouldn’t announce that Huntington and Russell got extensions, but is this really a betrayal of the fans?  Sure, they care about this to some degree, but Smizik’s outrage seems a bit out-sized here.

I think this is more about the media being angry that they weren’t kept in the loop about something to which they’re normally hip.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.