John Wehner: Less About Fundamentals, More About Mental Preparation

Pirates part of problem around Major League Baseball

The Fan Morning Show
April 30, 2019 - 11:16 am
Pirates running the bases

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- When describing some of the issues the Pirates have run into this season, general manager Neal Huntington said this: 

“Missing cut off men, not being aware of guys maybe looking to advance against us, trying to make a play when it’s not there, not making the routine play. They show up in close games. they show up all the time.”

The Bucs seem to be making mistakes that are based in the fundamentals of the game. 

Former Pirate now team broadcaster John Wehner joined The Fan Morning Show Tuesday to weigh on why the Pirates are making so many simple errors. 

"We've noticed this for years now, it's throughout baseball it's kind of an epidemic. They're (fundamentals) are worked on still, they're probably not worked on on a daily basis. This is the next part of that, these guys know how to play the game. They know the fundamentals, they know where to throw, they should." 

Related: Huntington On Injuries To Major League Players, Top Prospect

"The next part is can you get them to concentrate and prepare to do it the right way. The preparation part for me is mental. Can you get them locked in every pitch to anticipate the ball coming and when the ball comes, where am I going to go with the ball? Or when I'm in the batter's box or when I'm running the bases, running the bases in particular, same thing. Preparing each and every pitch to know where you're going, what the score is, how many outs, when to take a chance and take the extra base, when not to. I think that might be the bigger problem in today's game. I think it's a mental preparation thing more times than not." 

Speaking of fundamentals, Wehner believes the wavering outfield defense we've seen from Gregory Polanco will improve from here. 

"As far as his route-running and getting to balls, he's better than what we've seen I think. He's been a little wobbly here the first week since he's been back," said Wehner. "The throwing, I don't know what we're going to get. I wouldn't expect a whole lot throwing wise but I think as far as his overall play in the outfield, it should tick up a little bit. We've watched this kid throughout the years and there's been times where he was shaky in the outfield."

"But there were times the last couple months last year where he was way better. I was raving about his defense, it was the best I ever saw [from him]. We haven't seen his best yet." 

Wehner also said we have some more time to evaluate Chris Archer and the trade in general, he wants to see how he bounces back from this most recent thumb injury. 

You can hear the entire interview with Pirates broadcaster John Wehner on The Fan Morning Show below.     

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