Feeling Great, Chris Archer Is Ready For His First Pirates Camp

Veteran Pitcher Looks To Put Injury-Filled 2018 Behind Him

Eric Hagman
February 12, 2019 - 8:13 am

Eric Hagman 93.7 The Fan

Bradenton (93.7 The Fan) - Last summer's trade to the Pirates thrust Chris Archer into the middle of a playoff race that soon fizzled, but the 30-year-old righthander enters spring training feeling good about himself and the ball club.

"Our strength is what it  has been since I was here last year," Archer said. "The second half of the season our starting rotation was exceptional and our bullpen elite. I think we've done things to complement each of those areas nicely.  Jordan Lyles and Francisco Liriano, I think, it's going to be a great competition for the back end spot of the rotation.  The nucleus of our staff and our bullpen look really, really good, and I'm excited about it."

Archer went 3-3 in 10 starts for the Pirates.  His ERA in his first 5 games in August was 6.46.  In his 5 September starts it was 2.70.   

"Really, anything that happened last year is not in my mind," Archer said.  "Whether I was contending for the Cy Young (Award) or I had the year that I had I'm not really thinking or dwelling on last year because it's a clean slate, new year, new team new everything."

Archer battled injuries while with the Rays and then the Pirates.  In November he underwent surgery for a hernia.  He doesn't anticipate that setting him back this spring.

"Look, I'm healthy, so it's not something I'm thinking about anymore," Archer said following a workout.  "We'd be having a different convesation four weeks ago, but I feel great, man.  Injury is not in my mind whatsoever.  I have lofty goals for myself, but I'm not trying to prove it to anybody except myself and my teammates.  Obviously, I want to do well, and I respect the fans, but I just care about my teammates and the group in here."

Related: Liriano Ready To Help Pirates Win Again

Archer attended a couple of Steelers games and saw the fans' passion, but he also felt it at PNC Park.

"The month of August the fans were great and even into September they were great, too," Archer said.  "If  you're not competing for a playoff spot it makes sense they're not going to come watch..  I want to be in a position next season to force the fans to be there, contending to go super deep in the playoffs andplay in the world series.  I know the outside perspective is things have been a little slow, but our lineup is going to be really strong.  I like the pieces that we added to complement what we already have"

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