From Earning Their Stripes To Bona Fide Major League Pitchers

Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage talks about 2019 staff

The Fan Morning Show
March 06, 2019 - 10:57 am
Chris Archer & Ray Searage

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Many Pirates fans and baseball observers are excited about the potential in the Pirates' pitching staff for the 2019 season.

Count pitching coach Ray Searage as one of them.

Searage joined The Fan Morning Show Wednesday and talked about the maturation and growth he's observed from his pitchers over the last year.

"I'm really excited, especially the way they go about their business," said Searage. "Last year was still earning their stripes out there on the bump. There were so many things that were positive. I wish you guys could be in my shoes, if you were in my shoes and you watched the development and the evolution of these guys at the Major League level, now they're bona fide Major League pitchers. You have to go through that in order to learn this game."

"My heart is just swelling [about] the way [they've] had success and the way they grew and the way they go about their business." 

Searage detailed the specific things each pitcher has worked on throughout their career and in preparation for 2019. 

Jameson Taillon: "The biggest thing for Jamo was developing that slider and getting that in the mix."

Trevor Williams: "This guy can pick apart a game and knows what he has to do through a lineup and it just boils down to execution, which he did in the second half tremendously."

Joe Musgrove: "Joe Musgrove [learned] the transition from a bullpen pitcher the year before to a starter. So the mentality is a little bit different there. He did a great job, too."

Chris Archer: "When he came over, he was primarily a fastball-slider guy and showed the changeup. Well, during our conversations in his 'pen, he has a curveball, too. It's a show-me pitch, it's his fourth-best pitch but it's pretty good. Yesterday he threw curveballs. He only threw one slider yesterday. What evolved for Chris was now he's a four-pitch pitcher where as before, when he first came up, in the first couple of starts, it was fastball-slider and a lot of hitters were just sitting on slider with him. His development has been tremendous." 

Searage also called set-up man Keone Kela a "competitor to the max" and has been impressed by the work done over the winter from closer Felipe Vazquez. He is already hitting 100 mph this spring and is taking more of a leadership role in the bullpen.

You can listen to the entire interview with Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage on The Fan Morning Show, including his thoughts on Mitch Keller's development and Jameson Taillon's ceiling, below.                          

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