One of the problems over the years with the Pirates has been player development. Add that to skimping on talent acquisition and you have a recipe for losing. We've been told that this was changed with the new management, but it's been difficult to find concrete examples of that. There's been talk of developing fastball command, but it has been less than clear what's going on for me.
Well Tim Williams has offered an interview with Jim Benedict, the Minor League Pitching Coordinator of the Pirates that really puts things in context for me.
In Part 1 Benedict talks about his schedule, long toss, and fastball command. A shock to me was the comment, "We are big believers in long toss." Who knew. He also has some interesting comments about what fastball command really means.
In Part 2 Benedict talks about Jeff Locke, Aaron Thompson, and Tim Alderson. He gives a cogent explanation of why Alderson's velocity is down; I had not seen this before. It's not the strange delivery, Alderson has had that since day one. What's happened is that Alderson has lost his "L" at the plant. I come away with a lot of confidence in Benedict and NH for hiring people like him.
Take a look. What's your take?