Neal Huntington Looks To Pirates' Regulars For Offensive Improvement

The Pirates rank near the bottom of the National League in most offensive categories, but general manager Neal Huntington signaled to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Bill Brink on Sunday that talk of salvation from the outside might be a little premature.

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"The guys that are going to help our offense are the regulars," general manager Neal Huntington said. "Those are the ones that we've got to get going."

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"There aren't trades made in April," Huntington said. "There's very few trades of substance made in May, and there's still few trades of substance made in June. Our solutions are going to have to come internally unless we're willing to be less than intelligent and dramatically overpay for someone else's bat."

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The struggles of free agent signings Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes have been well documented. Both sport batting averages well below the Mendoza Line through 34 games and have also generated little power, combining for just three home runs. The pair showed signs of that it might be coming around on the recently-completed homestand, however. Barajas' two-run walkoff blast in the ninth inning gave the Pirates a 5-4 win against the Nationals on Tuesday, and Barmes was instrumental in Sunday's victory, scoring the winning run after a double in the 12th inning.

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The addition of a second wild card playoff spot has the potential to slant the trade market toward sellers in the lead-up to the July 31 trading deadline, as more teams, theoretically, will be in the playoff hunt than in the past and less willing to part with important offensive pieces. This makes continued upward trends from guys like Barajas and Barmes critical if Pittsburgh is going to remain in the N.L. Central division mix, where they enter Monday four games behind first-place St. Louis.

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For the latest on the Bucs, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates blog.

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