Taillon, Vazquez weren’t on the table

By John Mehno

For the Mirror

PITTSBURGH — General manager Neal Huntington said the Pirates never considered trading Jameson Taillon or Felipe Vazquez this season.

Speaking on his weekly Sunday radio show, Huntington said dealing his top starter and closer “wasn’t even a consideration” when the team bottomed out and fell seven games under .500.

He also said that his willingness to deal prospects Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow did not represent a philosophical shift for the organization.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about (trading) one of our top prospects,” he said. “The difference is this time it came to fruition.”

Huntington said the Pirates’ interest in Chris Archer goes back to 2011, when Archer was still in the Cleveland Indians organization. He said the Pirates continued to talk about acquiring Archer during the player’s time with the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays.

He was finally able to land Archer for Meadows, Glasnow and a still unnamed prospect. Had the Rays required any more than that, “we would have turned in a different direction.”

The Pirates also included a player to be named later in the deal that brought reliever Keone Kela from Texas.

Huntington said revealing the names of those two players is “not imminent.”

“It could be a while,” he said.

Freese sits

David Freese was unavailable to play Sunday because of a right arm contusion he sustained in Friday night’s game

“I was constantly feeling it,” Freese said. “I had to take the day.”

Sadler recalled

The Pirates, looking to add a fresh bullpen arm for their series in Colorado, recalled right-hander Casey Sadler from Class AAA Indianapolis.

Sadler spent two days with the Pirates last month without getting into a game.

The Pirates are looking for someone who can pitch multiple innings in relief. The two pitchers had been filling that role are gone — Glasnow to Tampa Bay and Steve Brault to Class AAA.

McRae pitched 6• innings in two games, posting a 0-1 record, 5.68 earned run average and 2.05 WHIP. He walked five and struck out five in his first major league experience.

Feliz’s failing

Reliever Michael Feliz was one of the players acquired from Houston in January’s Gerrit Cole trade.

He was supposed to be a key member of the Pirates’ bullpen, but he’s currently at Indianapolis after posting a 5.53 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.

Feliz gave up runs in five of his last eight games with the Pirates, and was sent down on July 27.

“He has an elite fastball, especially at the top of the zone,” Huntington said. “The challenge has been his inconsistency with location. He needs to take a deep breath, get consistent touches and get into a rhythm.”

Fashion statement

Elias Diaz was happily unpacking some new catchers gear the other day, and looking forward to using it in a game.

He broke it out for Saturday night’s start, but it didn’t last long.

The new equipment included a white chest protector and a white helmet mask. It may have looked good, but the Pirates’ middle infielders had trouble picking up the ball against a backdrop that also included Diaz’s white pants.

He switched back to his old black equipment between innings. The supplier may be asked to try again, this time using gold instead of white.

Heading west

The Pirates start their three-city, nine-game trip tonight in Colorado.

They’ll spend the weekend in San Francisco for four games, then wrap up the trip with two inter-league games in Minnesota.

The Pirates are 8-18 against National League West teams this season, and 12-3 against the American League.

The next home game is Aug. 16. There are only three homestands and 19 home games remaining this season.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

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