Bill Brink's Pirates chat
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Hank
12:38
The past few seasons the Pirates have done several in season extensions. Do you think there are any candidates on the current roster for an in season extension?
Guest
12:38
Speaking of Gift, we already know this is going to be a lost season. Give him more chances so they CAN find out about his hitting at this level, right?
Bill Brink
12:39
Hurdle and the coaching staff don't think that way, especially not this early in the season. The argument for playing Ngoepe is that he improves the infield defense, not that the season is over so let's give the rookies some at-bats.
Salem Pirate
12:39
Does Daniel Hudson need one of the phantom injuries to facilitate a DL trip to work on his issues? He's been awful lately.
Bill Brink
12:40
There is always that option. I think some low-leverage scenarios might help him get back to form.
BW
12:40
Does it seem that McCutchen is just biding his time? The fire and enthusiasm just doesn't seem to be there. Did they really shoot themselves in the foot by shopping him without giving him warning?
Bill Brink
12:42
Not to me. He is under contract, paid handsomely, and if the Pirates want to see what they can get for him, that's within their right. I understand the thought about giving him the courtesy of keeping him up to speed, and the fact that he's more than just a franchise player in a city and on a a team that went through two decades of misery, but I don't think that's affecting his play.
BurghBall
12:44
Is there a turn-back-the-clock game this season? (beyond sunday home games, obviously)
Bill Brink
12:45
Not that I saw on the promotional schedule but I could have missed it.
BW
12:45
Meadows is young but do we see him called up this year?
Bill Brink
12:45
Possibly in the second half of the season if he does well in Indy and there is an opening in the outfield for an everyday player.
12:46
Lightning round. Go.
PhillyJake
12:46
Yeah, I know they won last night, and I hate to be negative, but why do they have such a hard time beating Cincy?
Bill Brink
12:48
I've been fascinated by this for four years. One of the worst pitching staffs on record last season and the Pirates went 10-9 against them. I don't want to put on one guy but Billy Hamilton hits like a Hall of Famer against the Pirates, and once he's on base he causes problems.
BW
12:48
Speaking of an outfield opening. How do you play Marte when he comes back if we're at or above 500?
Bill Brink
12:49
Hurdle will play him every day in center, I believe.
Guest
12:49
Best prospect in Altoona?
Bill Brink
12:49
Shortstop Kevin Newman, who had a great year last year and is off to a solid start now (.270/.337/.360).
Bob
12:50
Gift at Short, Jordy almost at Mendoza line?
Bill Brink
12:50
Not yet. We need some more time to play that one out before Hurdle would make that switch.
BurghBall
12:50
Who has the lowest payroll in NL? Milwaukee?
Bill Brink
12:51
Indeed, Milwaukee, at $60.8 million.
Guest
12:51
Pirates management has said that early season trades aren't real and don't mean anything. To boost the Pirates offense, at what point in the season does it make a difference? When they are 12 games out with no chance at a wild card in July? Or now when there's plenty of time to get it together?
Bill Brink
12:52
What they have said about early-season trades is that they're tougher to pull off without overspending, which this front office really does not like to do. But you are right, if you want to make a run at the playoffs this year, you might have to overspend early so you get maximum impact.
Indy Fan
12:52
Speaking of Marte, can he rehab in the minors, before he's reinstated? Can he have contact with the team at all during the suspension?
Bill Brink
12:53
He can work out at the facility in Bradenton, and I believe he gets a 15-day minor league assignment before coming back.
Salem Pirate
12:53
Best guess if and when Pirates get to .500
Bill Brink
12:53
They're only two games under. Any day now. Saturday?
Joe
12:53
Any update on how Kingham is doing? Is he more of a middle rotation starter
Bill Brink
12:54
He is building up innings after letting the ankle sprain heal. He hasn't had much of an opportunity in triple-A to show what he can be, but he was pitching well before the Tommy John.
Guest
12:54
What is Billy Hamilton like as a person? Because I can't stand him
Bill Brink
12:55
Very nice, from my brief interactions with him. I interviewed him for a story a couple years ago about his speed, the craft of stealing bases and how he gets reads and jumps, and he was nice and outgoing.
Mark
12:55
Bill, when the Reds intentionally walked Mercer to get to Glasnow, I thought "good, Tyler can't do any worse than Jordy". Why do you think Mercer is struggling at the plate?
Bill Brink
12:57
He's not that great of a hitter anyway, and he has a history of slow starts. His contact and swing rates are all about the same, but the .233 BABIP (career average: .290) isn't helping.
Indy Fan
12:57
Is Bostick the next guy to make his major league debut?
Bill Brink
12:57
That depends on where the next opening is, but he'd be a good candidate.
12:58
That's it for today, thanks for all the great questions!
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