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Conversations with Colony Podcast
12 minutes | May 3, 2020
Catching Up With Trevor Williams
Pirates Trevor Williams is waiting out MLB's coronavirus shutdown in his native San Diego with his wife,Jackie, and their young family - a 4-year old, an infant and a newborn. So, even though Williams would rather be pitching, it hasn't been the worst thing in the world to have a full-time dad around to help out. It's also a nice coincidence that Williams and new pitching coach Oscar Marin are neighbors so they have been able to get some work in together. Williams says he's in reasonably good throwing shape and is anxious to start the season whenever and wherever but only when it's safe to do so. Trevor joined me Saturday afternoon on 93.7 The Fan.
6 minutes | Mar 12, 2020
Taillon Out But Not Down
Jameson Taillon has never lived up to the billing of second overall draft pick - after Bryce Harper and before Manny Machado- but it's really through no fault of his own. Here is what's he has endured - Tommy John surgery in 2014, sports hernia in 2015, testicular cancer in 2017, and after finally having an injury-free 2018 in which he was one of the best in MLB the second half of the season, he suffered a forearm injury in 2019. Further examination showed he needed a second Tommy John, so he won't pitch again until 2021. But he is already well into rehab, which he has has changed quite a bit since his first TJ rehab 6 years ago. He also gives high marks to pitching coach Oscar Marin and his innovations.
13 minutes | Mar 10, 2020
Derek Shelton at the Midway Point
With the second off day coming up Wednesday, the Pirates are at the unofficial halfway points of the Grapefruit League schedule and Thursday will mark 2 weeks until Opening Day in St. Petersburg. So I figured this was a good time get a progress report from Derek Shelton. Among the topics: how he's adjusting to being a manager, getting as much input from as many people as he can -his coaches, opposing managers, the analytics people, and his players (which is something a little different for them), how Oscar Marin's pitching program is being received, which players has impressed him the most (it's an important one) and I even learned a new term - "informatics."
6 minutes | Mar 9, 2020
Intriguing Cederlind Closer To Pittsburgh
With his flowing blond locks on an athletic 6-4 frame, 24-year Blake Cederlind certainly looks the part and when he hits triple digits on the radar gun (which he did several times in Grapefruit League games) that only hammers the point home. After starting out last season in Bradenton, Cederlind quickly moved up to Altoona and got a late-season look in AAA. Even though he did not allow a hit in 5 appearances and struck out 9 in 4-and-a-two-thirds innings, Cederlind was among the first round of cuts Monday. But that doesn't mean the Pirates think any less of him and after spending more time with his mentor, bullpen coach Joel Hanrahan who moves up to Indianapolis, Cederlind could find himself in the majors later this year. I had chatted with him over the weekend
7 minutes | Mar 7, 2020
Crick Healthy and More Confident in 2020
After emerging as a late-inning set-up man in 2018, Kyle Crick regressed in 2019. Not only did his performance suffer after a 3-game MLB suspension following an incident with a coach, Crick then suffered a hand injury when he punched Felipe Vasquez in a clubhouse fight September 9th, thus ending a forgettable season. After off-season rehab, a wiser and more confident Crick is back and pitching well so far, looking to (re)claim the 8th inning role. A lot of good stuff here.
8 minutes | Mar 6, 2020
Joel Hanrahan Still In The Game
In Joel Hanrahan's 3-and-a-half seasons with the Pirates he never really struck me as a future coach. After not doing much in Washington, the hard-throwing Hanrahan had his two best seasons with the Pirates, posting 40 saves in 2011 and 36 in 2012 before being traded to the Red Sox and shortly thereafter arm trouble ended his career. I always kind of figured Hanrahan would go back to his native Iowa and, as the great Chuck Noll would say, get on with his life's work. But it turns out his life's work has brought him back to the Pirates organization and this season Hanrahan will serve as the bullpen coach in AAA Indianapolis.
9 minutes | Mar 5, 2020
Neil Walker "Playing With House Money"
Neil Walker's Pittsburgh Kid nickname no longer com play LFpletely fits. At 34, he is far from a "kid" and, while he won't be selling his north hills home anytime soon, Walker is now longer "Pittsburgh" during the baseball season; in fact, he is now on his 6th team since 2016 - Mets, Yankees, Brewers, Marlins and now he's trying to latch on with the Phillies. He has company - Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison and Francisco Liriano are other members of the Pirates' 98-win 2015 team. Walker is in camp on a minor league contract so he's not guaranteed a spot which is why he has already played 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, is scheduled to play left field Thursday. The new 26-man roster will help but, as he says, after over 9 seasons in the majors he is playing with house money.
10 minutes | Feb 28, 2020
Stallings Stepping Up
Jake Stallings began a slow, but steady, climb through the Pirates system after he was picked in the 7th round of the 2012 draft out of the University of North Carolina. He spent small parts of the 2016-18 seasons in Pittsburgh before his battlefield promotions became permanent due to injuries. And now, with Francisco Cerveli and Elias Diaz gone altogether, Stallings would appear to be the de facto #1 catcher although signee Luke Maile and invitees JR Murphy and Andrew Susac all have some major league experience. We talked, among other things, about his increasing role, pitch framing and the all-important umpire relations.
12 minutes | Feb 27, 2020
Donnie Kelly - Another Pittsburgh Kid - Returns Home
Don Kelly is establishing himself as a baseball lifer. The Mount Lebanon native was drafted by the Tigers after an All-America career at Point Park but actually broke into the majors with the Pirates in 2007. Kelly went back to Detroit and spent 6 seasons there before joining the Marlins for 2 more years before retiring. Playing 5 years for Jim Leyland probably rubbed off on Kelly who was identified as a potential big league manager and, after going back to the Tigers as a pro scout, Kelly was hired as first base coach of the Astros and then was quickly plucked away by Derek Shelton to be the bench coach in Pittsburgh - where he still makes his year-round home, along with his wife Carrie (of the baseball Walkers) and their 3 sons. Despite that all-too serious-looking thumbnail photo, Donnie Kelly could be the nicest guy in baseball so always nice to spend a little time with him
13 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
Marucci A Man For All Sports And Sports Science
The unassuming Jack Marucci has gone from Uniontown through West Virginia University to become a major player in both college and pro sports. Not only is he in his 24th year as Director of Athletic Training at LSU but, along the way, he founded the Marucci Bat Company which is used by more major leaguers, including Pirates slugger Josh Bell, than any other bat. I caught up with Jack making his annual Grapefruit League tour and had a wide-ranging conversation about LSU football, advances in training techniques, Marucci bats (of course) and looming conflict for the lifelong Steelers fan. A lot of good stuff here.
5 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
Tucker Fighting For A Spot
After a nice spring and a solid start at AAA Indianapolis, former first round pick Cole Tucker made quite a splash with the Pirates by hitting a home run in his first major league at bat (off now teammate, Derek Holland). But Tucker cooled off after that, hitting .152 in May, and found himself back in the minors. After slight improvement in September, Tucker is now fighting for a spot this spring and has seen game action each of the first 3 days of Grapefruit League games. We talked about facing Gerrit Cole, plate discipline and the atmosphere under a new regime.
6 minutes | Feb 14, 2020
Hockey Talk With Branden Tanev and Jared McCann
Branden Tanev came over in the off-season while Jared McCann was traded to the Penguins a little over a year ago so they can identify with Jason Zucker who is now trying to fit in as quickly as possible. I caught with them this week talking about Zucker and also their roles with the Penguins. First Tanev, who went up against Zucker quite a bit during his 4 years with Winnpeg:
3 minutes | Mar 12, 2019
Jason Martin with Colony 3-12.mp3
3 minutes | Mar 5, 2019
Adam Frazier with Colony 3-5.mp3
3 minutes | Mar 5, 2019
Adam Frazier with Colony 3-5.mp3
5 minutes | Feb 26, 2019
Craig Getting Closer
First baseman Will Craig has certainly lived up to his status as the Pirates 1st round draft pick out of Wake Forest in 2016. After a couple of so-so minor league seasons Craig's power numbers exploded at AA in Altoona - 20 HRs and 102 RBI - which gets him into Major League camp still knowing he's going to start in AAA. He was in line for the game-winning hit Sunday but his fellow top prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes had to win it with a Grand Slam instead which was fine by him.
5 minutes | Feb 26, 2019
Chisenhall Makes Good First Impression
Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall couldn't have made a much better first impression. Okay, he could have tripled or homered on the first pitch he saw in a Pirates uniform but he had to settle for a double. Then he scored on the very next pitch when former Indians teammate Erik Gonzalez singled to the opposite field for the first run of what turned into a wild 10-6 walk-off win over the Marlins on a walk-off grand slam by Ke'Bryan Hayes. He's not only adjusting to a new team but also a new spring training routine - Florida vs Arizona.
3 minutes | Feb 25, 2019
Steven Brault shorter 2-24.mp3
6 minutes | Aug 23, 2018
Steelers Defensive Coordinator Shares Your Concerns
You think you're worried about the tackling of the Steelers defense (or more accurately lack of tackling)? Try being Steelers Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler - and his job depends on it. Butler bugged by more missed tackles as the defense gave up 37 of the 51 points in Green Bay although he hasn't had his actual starters on the field yet. Just one more concern as I caught up to him in-between practices before the pre-season game against Tennessee.
3 minutes | Aug 16, 2018
Can Henderson Run His Way Onto The Steelers?
Former Pitt star Quadree Henderson developed into an All-America return man with the Panthers but can he earn a spot with the Steelers? Mike Tomlin told us on The Fan Morning Show that Henderson can "run his way " onto the roster so how can he do that? I caught up with Henderson to find out - and also discovered he does a fair imitation of Special Teams coach Danny Smith!
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