Crick: “I Am Enjoying The Ride."

The Pirate newcomer talks about his first month in Pittsburgh.

Noah Hiles
May 19, 2018 - 9:13 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Of all the new comers to the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates, perhaps the one with the toughest journey into town is relief pitcher Kyle Crick. As a first round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2011, pressure from fans to produce on the mound is nothing new to the 25 year old right hander.

However, when it was announced in January that he and Bryan Reynolds had been traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for then face of the franchise, Andrew McCutchen, Crick would be faced with the challenging task of always being linked to the return in a very unpopular decision made by the Pirates front office. While many would struggle in such a difficult situation, the young and determined Crick had a much different outlook when he was given word about the new team he would be playing for.

“I didn’t feel a lot of pressure, I was just honored to be in that situation,” said Crick. “With a guy like that, a franchise guy who was the best player at his position for a long time to be in the same trade talk was awesome.”

Since arriving in Pittsburgh, Crick himself has been rather “awesome”, posing the second lowest earned run average in the Pirate bullpen (2.19) and limiting the opponents that he has faced to a .208 batting average.

When asked what he has been doing on the mound that has led to his early success, Crick said a cutter, sinker combination, splashes of a changeup and confidence in his breaking ball has allowed him to get ahead early in the count and ultimately put batters away.

One of the biggest outs Crick has made in his young career as a Pirate came on April 11 when he faced the man he was traded for in his first game back in Pittsburgh. For Crick though, while coming out on top against one well known individual was great, he received more enjoyment from facing an entire group that he was very familiar with.

“In my mind all I wanted to do was get him out; that was the biggest thing,” said Crick when asked about facing Andrew McCutchen. “It was cooler to get to pitch against my old team, more so than just Cutch. Cutch was a part of it for sure but facing the Giants was a cool and surreal experience.”

On April 12 the Pirates called up Crick and Richard Rodriguez from AAA in hopes that their raw talent and ability to pitch in numerous roles could help provide a much needed spark to the club’s struggling bullpen. Since that decision was made, the Pirates bullpen has only allowed 31 earned runs in a combined 112.1 innings pitched, which adds up to an MLB best 2.48 ERA in that period of time.

“I feel like a lot of the success has to do with our pitching and just the way we approach hitters; staying aggressive, getting ahead of people,” said Crick. “It has a lot to do with Cervelli and Diaz as well. They’re calling great games and they have a really good game plan before we even go into it so everyone in the bullpen, starters included, trust that the signs are the right ones.”

Needless to say, the success both Crick and the rest of his team are experiencing at the moment have made his first year with a new team very smooth. For Crick, becoming a Pirate has been an overall positive experience.

“I am enjoying the ride,” said Crick. “It’s been great learning new things in the bullpen, new ways to approach hitters and just the philosophy of the Pirate way.”