Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 5.24.17
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Bill Brink
10:00
Good morning and welcome to today's Pirates chat. We
10:01
Oops. We'll get going now. Thanks to those of you who submitted questions, and keep them coming.
PhillyJake
10:01
Is Clint Hurdle aware of how often the Pirates first two batters are getting on base, and aware of how little they score, based on how often they get on base?
Bucky20
10:01
Insanity: Same thing over again expecting different results. Is Hurdle setting himself up to go down along side McCutchen by keeping in the three hole and continuing to cost the Pirates games like last night. Worst McCutchen game yet, .200 BA
Bill Brink
10:03
I have to imagine no one is more aware than anyone, with the exception of McCutchen himself. Last season, and this April, the argument for keeping him there was his large and tremendous body of work to that point. The sample size of him struggling, though, is big enough (essentially a full season, the first four months of last year and the first two of this year) that moving him down in the order is no longer a knee-jerk reaction and something I'm sure Hurdle is at least considering.
control_f
10:03
What is Polanco's status after taking BP last night? Do you anticipate him going on a rehab assignment?
Bill Brink
10:04
He is going to run the bases today and said yesterday he feels good. Hurdle said he hadn't talked about a rehab assignment yet with Polanco, and Polanco said he wants to stay with the team.
PhillyJake
10:04
Wasn't Matt Adams some forgotten guy on the St. Louis Cardinals last week? Why are we making him look like Bryce Harper?
Bill Brink
10:05
He's always been good, one of those guys who whenever I saw him play with the Cardinals I'd think, why aren't the numbers better, given his talent? He got his body right this offseason, and maybe a fresh start helped.
FunnyGuy
10:05
Over/under (4) at how many Matt Adams questions you think you'll get today Bill?..
Bill Brink
10:05
Does this one count? Two so far.
PhillyJake
10:05
Is Taillon undergoing Chemo? Radiation? If so, is he going to Start around his sessions?
Bill Brink
10:06
His blood work so far has come back clean, meaning that as of now, he might not need to go through any additional treatment. He will continue to get tested, though, so we can't say for sure.
Dan
10:06
How many more dps does Cutch have to hit to learn that pulling groundballs don't work well?
Bill Brink
10:08
He's always been pull-heavy. He pulled the ball more in 2013 (47.1 percent) than this year (46.7) and won the MVP. But he did it with more authority, so you'd see his patented sharp single past the shortstop or a double down the line. Now it's a grounder. The quality of contact has decreased: around 32 percent, compared with nearly 40 in 2013.
10:09
That's 32 percent hard contact, my bad.
Bake
10:09
Bill, Is Cutch's low BABIP just bad luck which will eventually even out, or due to poor contact?
Bill Brink
10:09
You have to figure his .214 BABIP is unsustainable. It's more than 100 points lower than his career average.
Dan
10:11
Why did we not use Nicasio? He was warming up but we used LeBlanc instead? He's been good but Nicasio's better.
Bill Brink
10:12
You would think to turn Bonifacio around and then face Inciarte, and it's true Bonifacio doesn't have a hit off a lefty this year, but he's been much better against lefties the past three years than righties.
Bake
10:12
Bill, Not just with the Bucs, but the league as a whole, should Cole be considered an ace/#1 pitcher or very good/#2 pitcher.
Bill Brink
10:14
If you talk about the ace of a staff, as in there's 30 of them, then yes, Cole definitely is ace. If you want to talk about "ace, with a capital A, the Kershaws and Scherzers and Sales of the world, I'd say ... maybe. He certainly was in 2015, and he's looked this season like he's getting back to that form.
Dan
10:14
Why was Hurdle so mad yesterday? He was ejected arguing over sth no one was mad about
Bill Brink
10:14
He disagreed with the home plate umpire about where Bell and the catcher established their lane and position.
Dan
10:16
I know Glasnow has extremely high BABIP right now but can our pitchers, like Cole, Glasnow and Kuhl swing the bat instead of bunting? Not Nova but I think those three is better off that way
Bill Brink
10:17
Cole can swing it a little bit. Pitchers bunting is fine if they can get it down. None of them are Bumgarner at the plate.
Serg
10:17
Who's call is it to call a game or wait half a day till rain may stop?
Bill Brink
10:17
It's a group effort, the umpires and MLB consult with the home team in situations like that.
J234
10:17
How can a superstar fall off to an impediment from age 28-30?
Bill Brink
10:19
Any number of reasons. Baseball is a game of adjustments, pitchers finding a way to get guys out and hitters finding a way to close that loophole. It's possible McCutchen is taking a long time to adjust to the latest approach. Physical skills decline with age. Injuries heal more slowly as players age.
Bob
10:19
Why does Clint insist on pulling one of our better hitters i.e. Bell every game?
Bill Brink
10:20
He continues to believe the Pirates are better served with Jaso playing solid defense at first with a lead rather than keep Bell's better bat, but subpar defense, in there.
PhillyJake
10:20
Your BABIP answer is lazy. Yeah, maybe it will even out, or progress to the mean a bit, but there's a lot more to it than bad luck. Start with his bat speed. And exit velocity. Maybe it shouldn't be that low, and maybe some bad luck has come his way, but blaming it luck is myopic.
Bill Brink
10:21
No it's not. It's part of the equation. BABIP is partly luck, partly quality of contact and partly the skill of the defense they're facing. Look back at the answer before. And while we're on the subject I'll add this: I looked it up the other day and don't have in front of me, but McCutchen was slugging something like .303 on fastballs 94 mph or faster.
J234
10:21
Does Neal Huntington leave at the end of this season?
Bill Brink
10:22
The Pirates haven't exercised his option for 2018, so until they do, or extend him, it's entirely possible.
PhillyJake
10:22
Glasnow gave up to sharp hits (including Matt Adams HR) last night on pitches that, while belt high, were well outside. What's up with that?
Bill Brink
10:23
If a hitter gets extension on a pitch and times it well, he can drive even pitches well outside. Bell talked about this being a bit of a turning point in Arizona when he got extension on a right-handed homer. Depends on the hitter, too. Rizzo can do stuff like that because he stands basically on the plate and can get to those outside pitches.
Dan
10:23
If we have too many starting pitchers ready by next season, what'll happen? We have Cole, Taillon Nova, Glasnow, and Kuhl. Brault, Kingham and Holmes are doing well in AAA. Eppler, Hutchison, Williams too. Do we convert some to relievers?
Bill Brink
10:24
Neal Huntington would tell you that there is no such thing as too much starting pitching. They inevitably get hurt. Of that group, I don't see any being converted to relievers at least right now.
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