During his confab with beat writers Tuesday, owner Bob Nutting stressed that the Pirates needed to do a better job with their scouting and player development. “We need to have more scouts with a strong sense of the gut and the feel of, ‘This guy is a gamer. He can play. He can contribute,’ ” Nutting said. So perhaps it’s no coincidence that today the club announced it has hired Bill Livesey as senior advisor to GM Neal Huntington. Livesey, 72, was a pro scout for the New York Yankees from 2008-11 and before that spent three seasons as a special assistant to the GM with the New York Mets. From 1978-95, he worked in all phases of player development and scouting for the Yankees. Livesey also has held front office jobs with the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays.
Last season, Pirates had five special assistants to the GM, including Dave Jauss, who recently was moved onto manager Clint Hurdle’s coaching staff. When I asked how a senior advisor differs from a special assistant, I was told by a Pirates exec, “A senior advisor is exactly that, an experienced voice in a position to offer insight and advice on all things baseball operations. Bill will also have some special assignment scouting responsibilities and will be one of the key opinions as we evaluate our systems and personnel.”