Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 5.10.17
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Bill Brink
12:26
The current deal expires after the 2019 season.
Cole
12:26
Are the pirates going to be sellers or buyers at the deadline? It seems like a fire sale is on the way
Bill Brink
12:27
If this current trajectory continues, you could see them move Watson and McCutchen at the deadline. They would need offensive and defensive improvement between now and the deadline to be buyers.
Mark L
12:27
Has Cutch's bat speed declined over the last 3 years? What is the consensus about what has gone wrong?
Bill Brink
12:28
That's the thing that was interesting last year, I didn't hear a consensus. I'd talk to scouts, other writers and broadcasters and no one unified theme presented itself except for the thumb issue and the elevated strikeout rate. Looking at his peripherals and just watching his at-bats, I'd say improvement is coming for him.
Bob
12:29
29 defensive lineups and 30 batting order lineups in 33 games is absolutely horrendous I understand either the injuries but baseball players are creatures of habit! There is no continuity so there is no comfort zone!!
Bill Brink
12:29
It's almost akin to how the Dodgers do things under Friedman and Roberts. They are focused on matching up best that day, not on continuity or set positions/lineup spots.
Ryan
12:29
How do you feel about Hurdle's handling of 1st base? To me, if you continue to pull your starters for defensive replacements, you are "telling" them, game after game, that they are no good in the field. I really think it had to get into these guys' heads. Plus, with Pedro and now Bell, you don't have you're biggest bat in late innings to make a 3 run change with one swing.
Bill Brink
12:30
That's a good point. It's not ideal, but I think it's Hurdle being pragmatic. He knows Jaso is better defensively than Bell and he needs to win ballgames.
David
12:31
I know it's tough; we don't have 2 of our starting players and 2 of best hitters this season. We don't have 4th OF. I know all this but Hurdle's lineup, strategy has been questionable. I get why Cervelli got a rest, JHay was forced to rest, but that Sunday lineup was the worst. Brewers game is much more important than Dodgers game. Why couldn't we have a better lineup then? Why didn't we use a pinch hitter for Jaso in the 9th inning? Why did we just give up that game?
Bill Brink
12:32
The coaching staff and front office plan long-term, so sometimes you'll see bad lineups like that because they believe the rest will pay dividends down the road.
IndyFan
12:32
Any word yet on how long Taillon will be out?
Bill Brink
12:34
None yet. In speaking with a urologist the other day (who didn't diagnose or treat Taillon, so he was talking in generalities), more treatment is sometimes required if the cancer has spread, and sometimes (15-30 percent of the time) there is microscopic spread that doesn't even show up on a scan, which could require treatment or surgery. No way to know just yet.
David
12:35
I don't understand why people think we'll sell all our players. Including annoying NY reporters writing about how they'll get Cole from us. We have much better lineup next season and soon Reds/Brewers will finish their rebuilding. In my eyes, next season is the best chance we can compete. What's your opinion about my argument?
Bill Brink
12:36
I would agree with the argument that next year's lineup should be better, with Marte and Kang back full time. The discussion surrounding trading Cole is about both value (he's young, controllable and very good) and the fact that, as a Boras client who is young and very good, the Pirates almost certainly won't re-sign him.
David
12:37
Why is Bell not swinging at any balls that come near to the zone after 2 strikes? He gotta protect. I think I saw him just striking out looking like that for more than 5 times. Mercer used to do that in the beginning of the season and now he doesn't. Bell relies on his eyes way too much.
Bill Brink
12:38
I'd need to do a deeper dive on the pitches Bell sees and swings at in two-strike counts, but the .133/.224/.217 line with two strikes this year isn't great.
BW
12:38
Frazier stole 2nd today and looks good. How soon will we see him back up and i'm assuming he'll be in RF? I believe his bat could really help things too
Bill Brink
12:39
Pretty soon. I believe this is his second game on the rehab assignment, so after a couple more, he should be good to go. His bat will help, no question.
BW
12:40
Sorry Bill, I meant LF when asking about Frazier.
Bill Brink
12:40
As we've seen with Hurdle's lineup and defensive flexibility, I'm sure he'll see a little of both.
12:41
Lightning round. Go.
BW
12:42
Joe Terdoslovich? What's his deal and where does he fit in? He's batting well at Indy
Bill Brink
12:43
He's doing OK -- only three extra-base hits in 52 plate appearances. No obvious fit right now, though that could change with injuries.
Ryan
12:44
Favorite press meal in the league?
Bill Brink
12:44
Probably Philly. So many options. Used to be Houston before they moved to the AL. Giant chocolate chip cookies that were to die for.
BW
12:45
Brault was being considered out of spring for a starting role, why didnt they bring him up to replace Taillon?
Bill Brink
12:45
Williams was also considered out of spring, and he made the active roster, so they're going to give him a try.
doyle37
12:46
When does Jaso get DFAed? When Freese returns or sooner ?
Bill Brink
12:47
Probably not until they're convinced Bell is ready to play first base the entire game, or until they're well out of it, selling, and good with Bell playing late in close games.
Ryan
12:47
Do they still have free beer in Baltimore press room?
Bill Brink
12:47
I don't know, but I'm going there in June so I'll find out.

(Michael and Tyler: No I won't).
David
12:50
Why are they not convinced with Bell's defense? He's doing well. He has positive DRS and UZR.
Bill Brink
12:50
He is doing well, considering he only picked up the position a few years ago. Jaso in their eyes is just more of a sure thing.
BW
12:50
Tyler Eppler. Has looked pretty good so far after 5 games for Indy. Its a small smaple size but could he be considered to be brought up this year?
Bill Brink
12:51
At some point, yes, but he has only five starts above double-A. He has been very good, but they'll want him to get more time in triple-A, so you could see him as a September call-up potentially.
David
12:52
I expected Kingham to be called up this season but with that DL trip, is the chance diminished/gone?
Bill Brink
12:53
No, it's not. He's stretched out to five innings in extended spring, so an assignment to an affiliate is not far off. If he does well upon returning to Indy, he, too, could be in line for a call-up later this season.
That's it for today's chat, thanks for all the great questions! We'll do it again next week.
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