Steven Brault and Trevor Williams are reporting to Spring Training in roughly five weeks, and the duo hopes to get the word out about their offseason project to as many ears as possible beforehand.
Speaking on MLB Network's Hot Stove on Wednesday, Brault and Williams shared insight on their new podcast, "IMHO" -- an abbreviation for In My Honest (or Humble) Opinion -- in which the pitchers discuss mostly topics away from baseball. The podcast's Twitter bio (@PodcastIMHO) reads in part: "A right-hander & a wrong-hander meet to discuss their honest and humble opinions. 99% banter."
"That's kind of what we wanted to make known. Baseball players don't think about baseball 100 percent of their time," Williams said. "We talk a lot on the bench. We talk a lot in the bullpen. We have certain hobbies and interests we like to talk about."
So far, Brault and Williams -- who worked their way through the Minors together and debuted in the Majors in 2016 -- have recorded two episodes, each at just under 40 minutes. In the first, the two discuss their love of "Star Wars," and in the second, they talk about the nation's best fast-food restaurants, in their view.
Their goal is to record as many as they can in the coming weeks before the demands of the baseball season keeps them occupied, then roll them out in succession on a weekly basis. The two San Diego-area natives will room together at Spring Training in Bradenton, Fla.
"It's going to get dicey [if one of us] goes to Triple-A and we're in different parts of the country or if one of us gets traded or what not, but we're gonna roll with it as much as we can," Williams said.
Brault, 25, posted a 4.67 ERA in 34 2/3 innings over 11 outings last year, including four starts. Williams, 25, went 7-9 with a 4.07 ERA in 31 outings, and pitched well after moving to the rotation roughly a month into the season. After making 25 starts last year, Williams is currently slated to assume the No. 5 spot for the Pirates, pending any personnel moves this offseason.
The Pirates have been closely linked to trading No. 1 starter Gerrit Cole, and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Wednesday that a trade with the Astros was imminent. Such a deal could open up a rotation spot for Brault, who starred last year as a starter at Triple-A Indianapolis, going 10-5 with a 1.94 ERA.
"Last year was my first year relieving ever my entire life," Brault said. "It was really weird actually learning a different mindset. I think nowadays we have the relievers [pitching in innings] seven, eight, nine and are set, and that's what's going to happen. As a starter, you need to go six, and then if you get through six well, you're done. ... It's fun to be in the game now when it's this way."
"Baseball is changing," Williams said. "The Rockies are creating that super bullpen. There's a six-man rotation, with certain teams that are thinking about it. So I think the game is changing. And then the mentality, you're going to have to adapt to that as well if you're coming in as a reliever."