Newman, Moran React to New Roles

'I am just going to try and help the team win'

Jeff Hathhorn
March 19, 2019 - 8:46 am

93.7 the Fan

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (93.7 the Fan) – Pirates beat the Rays 4-2 Monday behind five shutout innings from Nick Kingham, a 2-run single from J.B. Shuck and RBIs from Pablo Reyes and Jacob Stallings.

Before the game, after naming Jung-Ho Gung and Erik Gonzalez regulars at third base and shortstop, the Bucs changed their lineup moving Colin Moran to first, Kevin Newman to second and Patrick Kivlehan to third.

“We believe this is the best decision we can make right now based on defensive range, overall athleticism,” manager Clint Hurdle said of the moves.  “Now we need to see how it plays combined.  It gives us the opportunity to have two very gifted defenders on that side of the diamond.”

Hurdle said the plan is for Newman to play some second base and spell Adam Frazier, along with backing up Gonzalez.  Hurdle said Newman is still in a battle to make the club.

Now in his second year with the Pirates, Moran will get more work at first base, where he played a handful of times in the Astros organization.

“I feel good,” Moran said of playing first base.  “I think it’s easier over there.  It’s different, a little slower.”

Moran had four errors playing third base this spring, but made a diving play in the first inning of the game on Monday at first and was solid throughout the game.

“I’m just going to try and help the team win any way possible,” Moran said.  “That has always been my motto.  I’m just going to try and adapt whatever they need from me and give it to them.”

“When they talked to me they said they wanted me to get some reps over there (2nd base),” Newman said.  “They gave me the cushion to say to them when I was comfortable to play in a game.  I told them right then I was comfortable.  So they put me in today.  It felt fine.  I’ve played it enough.”

“The only thing I’m thinking about going forward is making the team,” Newman said.  “That’s what we want to do as players.  The goal is to be in the major leagues, to play in the major leagues.  Focus has shifted now to whatever the Pirates need out of me, whatever they see me doing to contribute to the team.”

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