Rum Bunter, the Pittsburgh Pirates site on FanSided exchanged some questions with us here at Around The Foghorn in a bit of a series preview format. To check out ATF’s answers, head over to Rum Bunter. To check out what RB had to say about the Pirates for the upcoming series and season, look below:
1) The Pirates seemingly added a lot of veteran leadership to the club this offseason with the additions of Bedard, Burnett, Barajas, etc – how do you think it will help the black and yellow? Or will it?
THE KILLER B’s! I think Bedard has already made an impact. If he can remain healthy, he could be one of the best Pirates pitchers in a long time. He has such a calmness about him on the mound that some fans have started calling him the iceman on twitter. The jury is still out on Burnett after a rough rehab outing. Barajas seems like he will add some power, but little else. He has shown a calming ability for the staff, but that doesn’t get runners at second base. Barmes has been as advertised, always smooth, but little offense.
The pitching staff will see improvement from the moves. The defense will be improved, but Barmes and Barajas appear to be out machines in a lineup. Can we just bat six?
2) A while back, Neil Walker was the candy in the eye of many Giant fans who were looking for infield help. Ever since, Walker has dealt with injuries and semi-down years (give his talent level). What are you expecting from him this year? Will he bounce back?
Walker will be excellent. He is learning the second base position at the major league level which is mind boggling. Walk is trying to improve his offense from his natural side of the plate, which is always fascinating. We can expect better defense in 2012. The extra base power should bump as he is starting to learn the major league pitching staffs. He is a very smart player which will help his offense.
3) How did you feel about the addition of AJ Burnett? Were you behind it or against it?
We were all for adding Burnett. The pitching staff seems to feel like nobody can make a mistake or they will be out as the Bucs lead the league in team ERA. (God I love small samples)
4) What current Pirate do you expect to a big season?
Expect? Andrew McCutchen. The rest of the lineup is scary. Pedro Alvarez should provide serious power numbers if he can get out of his head. Casey McGehee and Nate McLouth are looking to have bounce back years, but I think the real surprises can come from the pitching staff.
5) For those who don’t follow the Pirates, give us a name of a guy who will be seeing in Pittsburgh in the near future, hopefully giving the Pirates a solid building block to go into the future with.
Starling Marte. He is an outstanding toolsy outfielder that hit his first AAA homer this week.