I thought I'd link to the interviews if done in the past ten days on a relatively slow news day in case you missed them. A little over a week ago I spoke with Vance Worley, who now appears to be a lock, pun intended, as the Pirates' fifth starter. We discussed the troubles he faced before coming to the Bucs and how he has been able to turn things around.
I strongly recommend the piece Pat Lackey wrote last month when taking a look at Jared Hughes. Jared is a very entertaining guy to talk to and it was really interesting listening to him discuss his role with the Bucs. I started to get into some of the things in Pat's article when Jared admitted to me that he wasn't familiar with FIP. I've spent a lot of time thinking about that over the past week. Clearly Jared knows what's going on with the Pirates analytics guys, having talked with Dan Fox and Mike Fitzgerald extensively. I came to the conclusion that there is really no reason for Jared (or any pitcher, for that matter) to know about FIP or any projection metric. I couldn't think of any way that specific knowledge would help him be better at his job. The Pirates share a ton of info with their pitchers who want it, but I'm guessing they don't see any inherent value in that particular info for the player, although I'm sure they do for the front office. If you only have time to listen to one of these, this is the one, and I'd love to hear thoughts about the different things Jared says and whether you see any value in having a pitcher be familiar with projections and metrics like FIP.
Friday, I spoke with John Holdzkom who told me the who story about a grip change on his fastball being the key to his newfound success was a bunch of BS. He also thinks he'd light up Hughes on the hoops court one-on-one.
Yesterday I spoke with Jordy Mercer. Lots of good things here about the slump to start last season, the confidence Clint Hurdle showed in him, learning from Clint Barmes and the grind of a 162-game season.